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Edited by DOM BEDE CAMM, O.S.B. 


Vol. I.— martyrs UNDER KING HENRY VIII. 



The writers are the late Fathers Stanton and Keogh of the 
Oratory, the late Father Morns, S.J., Father John Pollen, 
S.J., Father George Phillips of Ushaw College, and the 

Crown 8vo. 600 pp. and 690 pp. 7s. 6d. net. 
each volume. 


The next volume of the second series, which will complete 
the reign of Elizabeth, is in preparation. 












laibll ©bstat. 


Censor deputatus. 

Vic. gen. 

Westmonasterii, die y Augusti, 1913. 




§ I. The Martyr-list x 

§ II. The Development of the Penal Laws . . . xi 
§ III. The Martyrs of 1583-1584, and the "Bloody Ques- 
tion " xvi 

§ IV. The Martyrs of 1585-1587 and the General Pardon . xxi 

§ V. The Martyrs of 1588 . . . . . . xxiv 

§ VI. Authorities xxix 

The Decree for the Venerables xxxii 

Abbreviations xxxix 


I. Ven. John Slade. Winchester, 30 October, 1583 i 

II. Ven. John Body. Andover, 2 November, 1583 8 

III. Ven. William Carter. Tyburn, 11 January, 1584 22 

IV. Ven. George Haydock. Tyburn, 12 February, 1584 34 
V. Ven. James Fenn. Tyburn, 12 February, 1584 52 

VI. Ven. Thomas Hemerford. ,, 12 February, 1584 71 

VII. Ven. John Nutter. Tyburn, 12 February, 1584 76 

VIII. Ven. John Mundyn. Tyburn, 12 February, 1584 92 

IX. Ven. James Bell. Lancaster, 20 April, 1584 107 

X. Ven. John Finch. Lancaster, 20 April, 1584 114 

XI. Ven. Richard White. Wrexham, 15 October, 1584 127 

XII. Ven. Thomas Altield and Ven. Thomas Webley. 

Tyburn, 6 July, 1585 145 

XIII. Ven. Hugh Taylor. York, 26 November, 1585 164 

XIV. Ven. Marmaduke Bowes. York, 27 November, 1585 166 
XV. Ven. Edward Stransham. Tyburn, 21 January, 1586 171 

XVI. Ven. Nicholas Woodfen. Tyburn, 21 January, J586 183 




Ven. Margaret Clitherow. York, 26 March, 1586 188 
Ven. Richard Sergeant and Ven. William Thomson. 

Tyburn, 20 April, 15S6 200 
Ven. Robert Anderton and Ven, William Marsden. 

Isle of Wight, 25 April, 1586 202 

York, 3 June, 1586 211 

York, 8 August, 1586 217 





























Ven. Francis Ingleby. 
Ven. John Finglow. 
Ven. John Sandys. 
Ven. John Lowe. 
Ven. John Adams. 
Ven. Robert Dibdale. 
Ven. Robert Bickerdike. 
Ven. Richard Langley. 
Ven. Thomas Pilchard. 
Ven. Edmund Sykes. 
Ven. Stephen Rowsham. 
Ven. John Hambly. 
Ven. Robert Sutton. 
Ven. George Douglas. 
Ven. Alexander Crow. 

Gloucester, 11 August, 1586 

Tyburn, 8 October, 15^6 

Tyburn, 8 October, 1586 

Tyburn, 8 October, 1586 

York (? Autumn), 1586 

York, I December, 1586 

Dorchester, 21 March, 1587 

York, 23 March, 1587 

Gloucester {? Easter), 1587 

Sahsbury (? Easter), 1587 

Stafford, 27 July, 1587 

York, 9 September, 1587 

York, 30 November, 1587 

Ven. Robert Ludlam, and 

Derby, 24 July, 1588 

Ven. Nicholas Garlick 

Ven. Richard Sympson. 
Ven. William Dean. 

Mile End Green, 28 August, 1588 
Ven. Henry Webley. ,, 28 August, 1588 

Ven. William Gunter. Shoreditch, 28 August, 1588 
Ven. Robert Morton. 

Lincoln's Inn Fields, 28 August, 1588 
Ven. Hugh Moore. „ 28 August, 1588 

Ven. Thomas Holford. Clerkenwell, 28 August, 1588 
Ven. James Claxton and Ven. Thomas Felton. 

Near Brentford, 28 August, 1588 
Ven. Richard Leigh. Tyburn, 30 August, 1588 

Ven. Edward Shelley. Tyburn, 30 August, 1588 

Ven. Richard Martin. Tyburn, 30 August, 1588 422 







XLVI. Ven. Richard Flower. Tyburn, 30 August, 1588 

XLVII. Ven. John Roche and Ven. Margaret Ward. 

Tyburn, 30 August, 1588 

XLVIII. Ven. William Way, alias Flower. 

Kingston-on-Thames, 23 September, or i October, 1588 

XLIX. Ven. Robert Wilcox. Canterbury, i October, 1588 

L. Ven. Edward Campion. Canterbury, i October, 1588 

.LI. Ven. Christopher Buxton. „ i October, 1588 

LII. Ven. Robert Widmerpool. ,, i October, 1588 

LIII. Ven. Ralph Crockett. Chichester, i October, 1588 

LIV. Ven. Edward James. Chichester, i October, 1588 

LV. Ven. John Robinson. Ipswich, i October, 1588 

LVI. Ven. John Hewett, alias Weldon. 

Mile End Green, 5 October, 1588 

LVII. Ven. William Hartley. Holloway, 5 October, 1588 

LVIII. Ven. Robert Sutton. Clerkenwell, 5 October, 1588 

LIX. Ven. Richard Williams. {In reality John Harrison.) 

Tyburn, 5 October, 1588 
LX. Ven. Edward Burden. 

York, 31 October, or 29 November, 1588 

LXI. Ven. William Lampley. Gloucester, 1588 













I. Index of Names 553 

II. Analytical Index 576 


E. H. B. The Rev. Edwin H. Burton, Introduction, Nos. IX., 



J. C. The Rev. James Clayton . Nos. XXXVIII., XLI„LV., 


H. E. D. The late Rev. Henry E.Dunn Nos. XXXVI., XXXVII., 


F. P. H. The Rev. Francis P. Hogan, Nos. LIIL, LIV. 


E. K. The Rev. Edward King, S.J. No. XXXV. 

F. K. McC. The Rev. F. Kerr McClement, Nos. XLII., XLIX., L., 

M.A. LI., LII. 

J. H. P. The Rev. John H. Pollen, S.J. Introduction, Nos. III., 


A. R. Miss Antoinette Roberts . No. XVII. 

F. E. R. The Rev. Francis E. Ross . No. XXXII. 

W. R. The Rev. William Reany . Nos. XLIII.,XLIV.,XLV., 


J. B. W. John Bannerman Waine- Nos. I., II., IV., V., VI., 

Wright, M.A. VII., VIII., X., XL, 




J. L. W. The Rev. Joseph L. Whit- Nos. XXVIII. , XXIX., 
field, M.A. XXX., XXXL, XXXIIL, 


R. J. J. W. The Rev. Reginald J. J. Watt Nos. XXXIX., XL. 


The previous series of these volumes under the 
editorship of Dom Bede Camm, O.S.B., dealt with the 
lives of the martyrs who were beatified by Pope Leo 
XIII in 1886 and 1895, and they carried the story 
down to the middle of the year 1583. This book, 
taking up the narrative at that point, covers the lives 
of the sixty-eight martyrs who suffered between the 
years 1583 and 1588. A fourth volume, already in 
preparation, will complete the story of the Venerable 
servants of God who suffered under Elizabeth and 
whose cause of beatification is still before the 
Holy See. 

Many writers have contributed to this volume, and 
though limits of space have greatly restricted the 
accounts of some of the lives, it will be found that 
they have been treated with a fullness and complete- 
ness not hitherto possible. Many fresh sources have 
become available during the past decade, such as the 
papers from the Public Record Office and other docu- 
ments published by the Catholic Record Society, and 
the Acts of the Privy Council edited by Mr. Dasent. 
Though the writers of the lives have been numerous, 
they have aimed at a certain similarity of treatment, 
so that it is hoped that in spite of the unavoidable 
divergencies of style, which may be traced, the volume 


will not be found lacking in underlying unity. Neces- 
sarily there has been some repetition, for the rffain 
lines of one martyr's story cannot but resemble those 
of all the others, and a martyr frequently lived, 
suffered, and died in company with other martyrs. 


We may now point out some general topics and 
certain broad characteristics which are seen to apply 
to a whole group of martyrs when studied together, 
but which are apt to escape notice in the life of any 
single one of them. Something must therefore be 
said, first of the martyr-list, next of the gradual de- 
velopment of the penal code itself, and then of the 
various groups into which these martyrs naturally fall. 

The list of martyrs is the traditional one, that 
namely which is found in the decree of 9 December, 
1886, by which these martyrs and others (in all 261) 
were declared " Venerable ". The decree itself is for 
that reason printed after the Introduction, and some 
necessary consequences of following it may be noted 
at once. For instance — no account whatever is given 
of many other sufferers whom a general history of 
the persecution would have commemorated without 
fail, as those who died in prison, or distinguished 
themselves as confessors, or missionaries. We are 
only occupying ourselves with one section of English 
Catholic History. 

The list of martyrs given in the decree is followed 
closely, but not slavishly. Occasionally we have 
adopted a better reading for a name, or slightly altered 
the sequence of names, in order to keep to the chrono- 


logical order ; but substantially the list is the same 
as it has been for three centuries, the same which 
now has ecclesiastical sanction. 

This conservatism has led to one rather curious 
result. Richard Williams, a little-known martyr, 
who figures under No. LIX, really suffered three 
years later, as our more complete historical apparatus 
enables us to say without hesitation. But tradition- 
ally he figures under the date 1588, and this too has 
its significance, for another still less known hero really 
suffered at that time, though by some accident his 
name has entirely fallen out of our martyrologies, and 
Williams has been given his place. Whilst we give 
the biography of the latter, in its traditional order, 
we also say what we can about the layman, John 
Harrison, who really belonged to that date. 

As to the value and significance of the title " Vener- 
able," it may be said in brief, that it is the lowest of 
such titles. It affirms that a prima facie case has 
been established for proceeding to the beatification, 
which would be the next step. But no definite ap- 
probation of the martyr is given. The honour might 
be recalled. No promise of proceeding further is 
implied. It is unlikely that further progress will be 
made about such little-known martyrs as Richard 
Williams just mentioned. 

The Introduction to the previous volume of the 
Lives of the English Martyrs, described the change in 
the character of the persecution which was brought 
about by the Act of 1581 (23 Eliz. c. i). The period 
dealt with in this volume (1583-1588) saw a still more 


wide-reaching development of repressive measures. 
This was the Act of 1585, entitled '' An Act against 
Jesuits, Seminary Priests, and other such like dis- 
obedient persons " (commonly called the law of 27 
Elizabeth), an enactment, the practical effect of which 
was to outlaw the whole of the secular and regular 
clergy for two hundred years, though, through force 
of circumstances then existing, it did not at first ap- 
pear to involve results quite so drastic. When the 
Act was passed there was still in England a con- 
siderable number of priests to whom it was not 
intended to apply, and this fact must not be lost 
sight of. In studying the course of the persecution 
it must be remembered that all priests did not stand 
upon the same legal footing. All the priests who had 
been ordained before Elizabeth came to the throne 
remained throughout their lives subject only to the 
same statutes as the laity, though there were some 
special provisions in their regard. The same would 
possibly have held of priests ordained in England 
after 1558, had any ordinations taken place. But 
the imprisonment and exile of all the Catholic bishops 
stopped all further ordination, so that this class of 
priest was confined to those ordained during the reign 
of Mary, and hence known as *' Old priests " and now 
often referred to as " Marian priests ". 

Such priests were only liable to a charge of high 
treason for five classes of offences : — 
(After 1563) 

I. Maintaining the authority of the Pope after 

having been previously convicted of the 



2. Refusing the Oath of Supremacy for the second 

(After 1571) 

3. Procuring, using or receiving any bull or form 

of reconciliation. 
(After 1581) 

4. Absolving or reconciling anyone to the 

5. Being absolved or reconciled to the Church. 
These priests were not affected by the Act of 1585 

against Jesuits and Seminary priests, so that even 
after that date it was quite open to them to live in 
England without any risk of a prosecution for high 
treason, except under the above five heads.^ 

But the Jesuits and all " Seminary priests " (a term 
which was interpreted to include all English priests 
ordained beyond the seas) were on a different footing. 
For by the Act of 1585, which was retrospective, 
their very presence in England was declared to be 
high treason. Thus after that date the statuses of 
the two classes of priests were very different. To 
support a charge of high treason against the first 
class it wa.s necessary to prove an overt act of treason 
at common law ; or one of the five offences which 
the statutes of 1563, 1571 and 1581 declared to be 
high treason. Whereas any priest belonging to the 
second class could be condemned for high treason on 
the simple fact of his priesthood, apart from any 
act. This comes out clearly in the case of Venerable 

1 The lives of two Marian priests, James Bell (No. IX) and 
Richard Williams (No. LIX), are given in this volume. 


Robert Anderton and Venerable William Marsden, 
who were among the first victims of the statute. 

Thus this Act of 1585 marked a definite change in 
the character of the persecution, and from that date 
onwards, " priest-hunting " became one of the salient 
features in the oppression under which Catholics 
laboured. Lay Catholics were also aifected by this 
statute, for by it persons receiving or relieving a priest 
knowing him to be such were guilty of felony, besides 
incurring various penalties for other offences. The 
distinction between high treason and felony explains 
why most of the lay martyrs were hanged only, and 
escaped the horrible addition of being cut down alive, 
bowelled and quartered. 

The chief political excuse for the passing of this 
cruel Act was the assassination of the Prince of 
Orange, 10 July, 1584. We cannot condemn too 
strongly this political crime, of which the King of 
Spain was a prime mover.^ It led to a new outburst 
of war in Holland, and to those depredations of 
English pirates on the colonies and merchandise of 
Spain which brought about the sailing of the Armada. 
It also led in England to the formation of enormous 
Associations for Elizabeth's safety, in which whole 
counties joined with admirable enthusiasm. Un- 
fortunately Puritan intolerance played at least as 
great a part in these effusions of highly wrought 
feelings, as did loyalty to the Sovereign ; and the 
Parliament which met under such circumstances 

1 He excused himself on the plea that the Prince of Orange 
was born his subject, that he could not reach him by law, and 
might therefore do so by assassination. 


gave its sanction to the barbarous code, which we 
must now describe.^ 

Its chief provisions may thus be summarized : — 

§ i. The preamble. 

§ ii. All Jesuit and Seminary priest then in Eng- 
land to depart within forty days.^ 

§ iii. No Jesuit or Seminary priest, ordained by 
the pretended authority of the See of Rome, " to come 
into, be, or remain in any part of this realm or any other 
her Highness' dominions, after the end of the same 
fort}^ days, other than in such special cases and upon 
such special occasions only, and for such time only 
as is expressed in this Act ; and if he do, that then 
every such oifence shall be taken and adjudged to be 
high treason ; and every person so offending shall 
for his offence be adjudged a traitor and shall suffer, 
lose, and forfeit, as in case of High Treason. 

§ iv. Any person receiving or relieving such priest 
shall be guilty of felony, 

§ V. All persons (not priests, deacons, or ecclesiasti- 
cal persons) now being in any College or Seminary 
abroad shall return within 6 months, and within 2 
days of their return take the Oath of Supremacy. 
Failing to do this they are guilty of high treason. 

§ vi. All persons sending relief to priests, etc., in 
Seminaries shall incur the penalties of a Premunire. 

§ vii. All who send their children across the seas, 
except by Her Majesty's licence, to forfeit for each 
offence ;f 100. 

§ ix. This Act shall not apply to any priest who 
shall return to England and take the Oath of Su- 
premacy and submit himself to the Queen. 

§ xii. Sick priests to be allowed to remain on 

^ A justification of the Act from a Protestant point of view 
will be found at p. 484. 

^ For the deportations of priests — see the lives of Hartley, 
Dean, Nutter, etc 


certain conditions till they recover. But this period 
is not to exceed 6 months. 

§ xiii. Any person who knows of the presence of a 
priest within the realm, and who does not report the 
same to the magistrate within 12 days, shall be im- 
prisoned at the Queen's pleasure and fined. 

§ xvi. Persons submitting are not to come within 
10 miles of the Queen for 10 years after their submis- 

It will be seen that the great majority of the 
martyrs were priests. It was the object of the 
Government to put down Catholicism by depriving 
the faithful of the Mass and sacraments on the one 
hand, and by forcing them to attend Protestant 
worship on the other. Catholic lay folk were im- 
prisoned by the score for refusing to go to the Anglican 
service, but they could not be put to death for this. 
The laymen and women who were martyred were put 
to death either for alleged high treason or for assist- 
ing or harbouring priests. In the period treated in 
this volume, 1583-1588, it will be found that the lay 
martyrs of 1583 and 1584 were condemned for alleged 
high treason. There were five of them, so that they 
very nearly equalled in number the six priests who 
suffered in those years. But from 1585 onwards not 
only is the proportion of lay martyrs to priests much 
less — being seventeen to forty — but these seventeen 
lay martyrs were almost all executed on the express 
charge of harbouring and assisting priests. 

§ III. THE MARTYRS OF 1 583-1 584 AND THE 

From what has been already said it follows that the 
martyrs of 1583 and 1584 were on the same legal 


footing as those whose lives have been described in the 
second volume of the previous series and which differed 
from the status of their successors. In the case of 
each of these eleven martyrs the conviction was for 
high treason, the overt act alleged being sometimes 
the denial of the Queen's spiritual supremacy, some- 
times participation in an alleged plot at Rheims, 
similar to that for which Campion had already suf- 
fered, sometimes the distribution of Allen's books, 
which were asserted to be treasonable, and the like. 

In order to make the Catholic position appear con- 
fessedly treasonable, inquiry was made, in the cases 
of the Venerable James Bell and the Venerable John 
Finch : " Whose part wouldst thou take, if the Pope, 
or any other by his authority, should make war 
against the Queen . . . and other such bloody ques- 
tions ".^ Similarly of John Mundyn were asked 
" those bloody questions, which are as it were a sacred 
formula, never addressed but to victims already 
destined to death," and Haydock was in like manner 
asked ''cut-throat questions".^ 

I. These questions were, in the first place, irrelevant, 
unfair, adapted to excite prejudice, not commanded 
or sanctioned by any statute. The martyrs were tried 
for certain alleged offences, as being priests, hearing 
Mass, etc. These questions had nothing to do with 
the fact before the court, and were only calculated 
to irritate. The martyrs had no connexions with 

^ C.R.S. V. p. 86. See also the Introduction to vol. ii. of the 
preceding series, and the Analytical hidex below, under 
Martyrdom^ § 14. '-^ See below, pp. 44 and 97. 



foreign armies or preparations for war : No such war 
had in fact been waged, nor would it be. 

2. The questions involve the utterly inadmissible 
claim that it is permissible to judge a man's interior 
intentions, and to condemn him to death for them. 
Thus Thomas Bowyer the Protestant advocate — 
after assuming that *' it was not to be doubted " that 
" the deprivation of the queen from her regal authority 
and life," was "their intent and purpose," — goes 
on to say, ''intent in treason were sufficient to 
prove the party guilty, though the act were not 
executed, because it would be too late to punish the 
offence after the act executed " (below, p. 482). The 
oppression that would ensue from the consistent en- 
forcement of these principles would be unendurable. 

3. These were questions which it was morally im- 
possible for a Catholic to answer so as to satisfy his 
persecutors, for they involved postulates, which both 
sides were sure to take in different senses. 

The persecutors believed, and acted on the belief, 
that they might use force ; that they might excite 
revolution against Catholic governments abroad, and 
might also tyrannize over Catholics at home. 

Catholics could not of course admit such principles, 
or answer with satisfaction to Protestants, questions 
based upon them. So much so indeed that we might 
have imagined that, when pressed, they would not 
have been able to resist proclaiming the opposite 
principle, viz. that Catholic governments (say Spain) 
might retaliate on England for the injuries inflicted, 
and that the English Catholics at home might accept 
foreign aid in order to liberate themselves from un- 


endurable tyranny. In point of fact however such 
impoHtic answers were always avoided. In those 
days of absolutism men were well versed in avoiding 
offence of that sort. 

4. Nevertheless, as we read such answers as were 
given by Anderton and Marsden (pp. 208, 209), we 
cannot help perceiving a certaiti want of force in their 
pleadings which may strike us as odd. Though it 
was no wonder that the lambs should fail to satisfy 
the wolves, the appeal to the public, Protestant though 
that public was, seems perhaps less cogent than it 
might have been. If we pursue the subject we shall 
find that this guardedness proceeded from our fore- 
fathers' profound respect for the Holy See, which made 
them unwilling to own that the Pope's authority in 
temporals was less than it had been in mediaeval times, 
the traditions of which times still had such strong 
influence over them. 

Not long since, the Church's law and discipline 
had held universally, as well as her doctrine. The 
Pope was by consequence then the supreme arbiter, 
not only in matters of faith, but also in temporal 
affairs, and even in those of Kings and Princes, for 
questions and complaints of every sort were referred 
to his tribunal.^ True, there had always been stark 

1 Turning again to Thomas Bowyer, we find him describing 
the fifth Council of Lateran (where this headship was proclaimed) 
as not only traitorous {i.e. contrary to the Elizabethan code of 
law), but also antichristian {i.e. contrary to the Divine Right of 
Kings). One of the Justices however demurred to allowing a 
general council to be styled antichristian. This word was 
therefore deleted, but traitorous remained {below ^ p. 486, note). 



and ambitious rulers, who acted on regalist or Galli- 
can theories, and minimized the authority of papal 
laws. But still the system continued, until the Refor- 
mation, by splitting Christendom into opposing camps, 
put an end to the universal acceptance of canon 
law. Then, with the passing of Church law as a 
universal system, passed away also the mediaeval 
idea of the Pope with authority everywhere, as head 
of that system, to enforce canon law even in tem- 
poral matters, and even on temporal rulers. 

Though we now see this transformation clearly, 
the religious-minded men of that time were slow to 
perceive that the change which had taken place was 
permanent; and full as they were of gratitude and 
loyalty to the Holy See, they showed themselves more 
unwilling than we nowadays might have expected to 
admit that the Pope's authority in temporals had 
declined. They could not easily grant the possibility 
of siding against him in a war in which he used " his 
authority " ^ (that is the authority conceded to him 
in mediaeval times of taking action to enforce his own 
sentences), though Protestants would inevitably take 
the antipapal side under such circumstances. So in 
this way again, the *' bloody question " was an in- 
evitable source of misunderstanding. 

5. The martyrs could not be charged with any 
civil or criminal offence, nor with any short-coming 
in civic duty. None of the martyrs (as will be seen 

^ The report of Slade's words, p. 3, it will be remembered, is 
at least in appearance, Protestant. The strong statement, " no 
authority in temporals, etc.," which we meet on p. 7 may be 
affected by this. 


from the Analytical Index, sections 12, 14, etc.), 
denied the Queen's temporal sovereignty, many pro- 
claimed it in moving terms. None affirmed the Bull 
of Excommunication to be in force. The case against 
them therefore (except from the point of view of the 
extreme fanatic) was very weak. The Englishman 
is habitually reluctant to shed blood, especially in 
cases where the offence is not clear. The " bloody 
question " was employed to overcome that reluctance. 
Brought in after the sufferer was already entangled 
in the fatal meshes of the persecuting code, it tended 
to produce the impression that the sufferer was really 
guilty of more than that for which he had been con- 
demned. The coup de grace would then be given 
with a sanctimonious affectation of righteousness. 
This hypocritical device was one of the most detest- 
able features of the persecution.^ 

§ IV. THE MARTYRS OF 1 585-1 587, AND THE 

After the statute of 1585 the trials of the martyrs 
were greatly simplified. There was no need to rake 
up evidence of treasonable views or attempts. It was 
enough for the prosecution to show that a man was 

1 The fullest and most authoritative statement of contemporary 
English Catholic opinion in face of " the bloody question," is 
that given by Cardinal Allen, in his True, Sincere and Modest 
Defence of English Catholics^ against [Lord Burghley's] Execu- 
tion of Justice in England^ 1584 (this book is more generally 
accessible in the Latin translation prefixed as preface to Bridg- 
water's Concertatio) — see especially chapter iv. and pp. 29, 62, 
70, etc. 


a 861111031^' priest, or a Jesuit ordained by Bishops in 
union with the Pope, and by that very fact he stood 
condemned of high treason. It sufficed to prove that 
any one had aided and harboured a priest and he 
could be convicted of felony. Accordingly during 
these three years twenty-one priests and five lay people 
suffered under this statute. The stringent application 
of this law is shown in a striking way in the case 
of Venerable William Marsden and Venerable Robert 
Anderton already referred to. They were on their 
way to England when they were shipwrecked and 
cast on the Isle of Wight. Here they were brought 
before a kindly country magistrate who, commiserating 
their misfortune, tried to provide them with a loophole 
for escape. " I suppose, gentlemen," he said, " you 
came out of France not with a design of coming into 
England, but of going to Scotland, and that you were 
driven into England by a storm against your will. 
Tell me, is not this the truth ? " To which they 
answered, '' God forbid, my Lord, that we should tell 
a lie in this matter. . . . The truth is we are both 
priests." To which the magistrate could only reply: 
" Then may the Lord have mercy on you, for by the 
law you are dead men". There could be no better 
illustration of the constructive treason with which 
all these martyrs were charged, and for which they 
suffered. In no single instance was there even any 
serious attempt to connect them with any of the plots, 
which from time to time were devised on the Continent, 
and in particular with that of Babington, which took 
place at this time. They died simply because the 
government had determined to crush out Catholicity 


by preventing any priests from entering the country. 
The matter was stated in all its bald truth by a 
Justice of the Peace named Fleetwood, who when he 
heard that Blessed Laurence Johnson had arrived and 
was labouring in the neighbourhood, exclaimed from 
the bench : " Nay then, we strive in vain. We hoped 
these old Papistical priests dying, all Papistry should 
have died and ended with them. But this new brood 
will never be rooted out. It is impossible ever to be 
rid of them or to extirpate this Papistical faith out of 
the land." ^ 

An event took place in the Parliament of 1587 
(29 Elizabeth) which needs mention here. Its last 
act was a *' General Pardon of all offences, not ex- 
pressly excepted, committed before 30 September, 
1586".^ Of those exceptions we shall hear so often 
later on, that we might be inclined to think that the 
pardon was intended to excite hopes only in order to 
dash them again. This would be a mistake. The 
age was a rough one, and had crude methods of 
showing clemency, by deportation, by allowing "the 
plea of clergy," and the like ; but they were well in- 
tended, and these "general pardons," which were 
frequently granted, suited the temper of the time- 
The Act, which was " to be construed in the sense 
most beneficial to the subject" (§ iv.), enumerates a 
very large number of petty and greater crimes and 
offences, in §§ i. to v., but these are followed by a still 

^ Worthington, A Relation of Sixtene Martyrs ( 1 60 1 ). 
2 The Act is printed in full in Statutes of the Reahn, 18 19, iv. 
ii. pp. 7()yy. It received royal assent, 23 March, 1587. 


longer list, §§ vi. to xiv., of exceptions to the pardon. 
In general it may be said that all smaller breaches of 
civil and municipal law were forgiven : but great, re- 
peated, and especially political crimes were excepted. 
Under the same exception were to fall all those im- 
prisoned by members of the Privy Council, and all 
those who found themselves in certain great prisons, 
as the Marshalsea, the Tower, etc. Now as most, if 
not all, Catholic prisoners were comprised in one or 
other of these classes, they ended by getting no 
benefit from the Act. 

§ V. THE MARTYRS OF 1588. 

This group of martyrs far exceeds in number those 
who suffered in any other year, and the long list of 
executions which took place after the defeat of the 
Spanish Armada coincided with a time of popular 
excitement and ministerial triumph. 

In what spirit was all this blood shed ? In one 
way there was never a 'massacre more calmly and 
coldly planned. It was left almost entirely in the 
hands of the lawyers. The notes of the Solicitor- 
General remain, which show that he totted up his 
victims with absolute sang-froid, and distributed them, 
some here some there, noting beforehand the evidence 
against them, as well as the verdict and sentence 
which should be given. Nothing in one sense could 
be more brutally unfeeling. Nevertheless the pre- 
dominant motive was certainly political excitement, 
and Lord Burghley, the political primum agens, has 
supervised the paper of the law-officer, and has left 
upon it important directions, 


Now it was part of his clever but unprincipled 
policy to force Protestantism upon the country by 
laws of great stringency, which, however, he ad- 
ministered, so far as possible, with reserve, in order 
to win the reputation of clemency. When, however, 
his policy required it, he struck without mercy. On 
this occasion he wanted to show the Catholic powers 
how utterly powerless the English Catholics were to 
help them — so Catholic priests should be slain in large 
numbers in the most public manner, in the chief 
streets of the capital, and in the towns and havens 
of the surrounding counties. The Catholics popu- 
larly attributed their sufferings to the detested Earl 
of Leicester, and no doubt he would have been on 
the side of cruelty in the Privy Council. But no State 
papers, yet published, show that 'he was in truth the 
originator of the massacre, nor is it probable that his 
responsibility outweighed Lord Burghley's on this 

What makes Burghley's responsibility so heavy, 
is that he himself was all the time convinced that the 
Catholics in England were as a fact perfectly loyal 
to Elizabeth during the crisis. This is shown by a 
political pamphlet which he wrote at this time, in the 
character of a Catholic, to show that the Spaniards 
had no chance of finding support in England. His 
authorship is beyond question, for two, in some parts 
even three, drafts of it are preserved among the 
Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum. (MS. vol. 
103, n. 55. It has been reprinted in the Harleian 
Tracts, etc.) It is entitled, A Letter sent out of England 
to Don Bernardino de Mendoza, and is said to have 


been found in the Chamber of Richard Leigh, a Seminary 
Priest lately executed, that is the Venerable martyr 
whose life is told below. The contents are thus 
briefly set forth in Mr. Gillow's Bibliographical Dic- 
tionary (under Richard Leigh) : " The writer deplores 
the misery which the Armada has brought on English 
Catholics, expresses his dislike of the Pope's bull 
against Elizabeth, and of the English books sent into 
England in explanation of it,^ and speaks of the 
aversion of the English Catholics to reformation by 
force ". 

The pamphlet is written with so much detail, and 
such affectation of sincerity, that it has been constantly 
taken for a genuine Catholic work, though, when 
one knows the author's real sentiments, one can dis- 
tinguish his cant Catholicism easily enough by the 
little hits back in defence of " the bloody question,'' 
in praise of Elizabeth's marvellous clemency, and the 
like. We find therefore that Lord Burghley on the 
one hand genuinely wished it to be believed that the 
Catholics of England were perfectly harmless, nay 
loyal to the government of the land ; and on the 
other that he does not hesitate to slaughter Catholic 

1 This bull was again a fraud, though not an intentional one, 
of Lord Burghley 's. No such bull had been issued, no such 
books sent to England, though he believed they had. The ex- 
planation is that the bull had been prepared, and a short com- 
mentary or " book " about it printed. One of Walsingham's 
spies had stolen a copy of this, and sent it to England, and upon 
it Lord Burghley based his statement. The matter will come 
up for discussion again in the next volume, as the alleged bull 
came prominently into the trial of the Venerable Philip Howard, 
Earl of Arundel. 


priests, to malign them as traitors, to feed the Calvin- 
istic hatred of the ancient faith by every device in 
his power, to foster the idea that " their religion was 
but a cloak to cover their treasons " (p. 485). 

There can be no question that Lord Burghley, 
whatever his motives, was telling the truth, when he 
said that the Catholics of England were against Spain 
during the Armada crisis. It is conceivable that 
there were individuals who desired religious liberty 
at the cost of foreign invasion. There were some 
such abroad among the exiles, for they naturally 
viewed the Spaniards with kindlier eyes. We have 
not, however, so far any instance of the existence of 
such sentiments at home ; on the contrary several 
statements in the Spanish State papers show that the 
co-operation of the English Catholics was not to be 
counted upon. 

Thus, though it might seem that Elizabeth's govern- 
ment must have had a large excuse politically for 
this slaughter at a moment of great excitement. Lord 
Burghley's hypocritical paper shows they were 
perfectly aware all the time that the danger from 
Catholics was nil. When we look into the details 
of the several martyrdoms we find them equally in- 

For many months before the Armada appeared no 
Catholics had been put to death, but in the light of 
the advice given by the Crown lawyers to the Privy 
Council,^ it is clear that the Government were con- 
templating measures of unusual severity. Five days 
after the Armada appeared three priests were put to 


death at Derby, and as soon as the defeat of the Armada 
was known the Government determined on wholesale 

On 14 August orders were issued that the keepers 
of all the London prisons should make a return of all 
recusants in custody, and commissioners were ap- 
pointed to examine them all. The examination was 
concluded by the 20th and the results placed before 
Serjeant Puckering, one of the Crown lawyers, and 
afterwards Lord Keeper of the great seal. He then 
drew up a list, still preserved,^ in which he began by 
setting down on the first page of his paper all the 
names in a certain topographical order, distributing 
them over as wide an area as he could in order that 
as many places as possible might witness the exe- 
cutions of the Popish Priests. London with Middle- 
sex obtained the lion's share, partly because many had 
been arrested, or at least imprisoned and examined 
there, partly because London was the home of Protest- 
ant bigotry and would greatly enjoy the spectacle. 

Against each name a note was added in French law 
terms explaining briefly the position of each one, as 
" guilty and confesses " or " does not answer : guilty ". 
And one reads " recants and relents and therefore 
pardoned ". 

When the list was complete it was submitted to 
Lord Burghley who added with his own hand the word 
"treason" or "felony" to each name. Puckering 
then wrote susp. against all marked as " guilty". It 
is not at first sight clear whether it was added after 
the legal trial and execution in the sense of siispensus 

^Published in C.R.S. v. pp. 154 s^g. 


fuit, ^' he was hanged," or whether it was set down 
before the trial, meaning suspendatur, ''let him be 
hanged ". Examination of the lists, however, sup- 
ports the latter view, for the contraction susp. is added 
to the name of Clifton who was not hanged but died 
in prison, and it is not written against the name of 
Weldon who did eventually suffer on the gallows. 

Altogether six priests and eight of the laity were 
executed in or near London within three days, 28-30 
August. Twelve more, nine priests and three lay- 
men, suffered about the beginning of October, and 
others before the end of the year. With regard to 
those who suffered outside London, Puckering rewrote 
his notes, having then more evidence before him. 
Altogether thirty-one martyrs were put to death 
during this single year. 


Fallowing the precedent set in the volumes of the 
earlier series a note has been appended to each life, 
or footnotes have been supplied, from which the special 
references to each martyr may be obtained. The 
general sources as detailed in Volume II. pp. xxix-xli, 
continue to be of service, though some of them fail us 
during this period. Thus Bridgewater's Concertatio 
EcclesicB AnglicancB which amplified and continued 
Cardinal Allen's Briefe Historie of Twelve reverend 
Priests, gives no information after 1585. The additions 
made by Bishop Yepez to the Spanish edition, which 
he published in 1599, though useful, are not thorough 
or systematic, and many of these martyrs were un- 
known to him. 


A further addition to our contemporary sources, 
made since the pubHcation of the Lives of the Beati, 
is the issue of Unpublished Documents relating to the 
English Martyrs, forming Volume V of the pubHca- 
tions of the CathoHc Record Society. The Prisons 
Lists, pubHshed in Volumes II and III of the same 
series, also throw new light on many of the martyrs. 
The .publications of the Oxford Historical Society 
again afford information as to the University careers 
of the many Oxford men among, them. 

The list of more recent works on the subject re- 
mains much as it is detailed in Volume II. Dom 
Bede Camm's Forgotten Shrines, published in 1910, is 
useful for Venerable Francis Ingleby, but otherwise 
does not give many new details about these particular 
martyrs, though it is rich in information as to the 
relics of the English martyrs generally. Much of 
Mr. Wainewright's useful research work which has 
appeared in the Downside Review, A mplef or th Journal 
and elsewhere has been utilized by him in these pages, 
and special thanks are due to the Catholic Truth 
Society for leave to reprint in a somewhat abridged 
and occasionally revised form his pamphlets on the 
earlier of these martyrs, which originally appeared in 
that Society's Biographical Series. 

Help for this volume has been received from so 
many sources that the editors find themselves quite 
unable to thank all by name. They cannot however 
conclude without very gratefully acknowledging their 
special obligations to the contributors, and that not 
only for the diligence and care they have devoted to 
their work, but also for their readiness to make those 


sacrifices cheerfully without which no composite work 
like the present can be achieved. To Father P. 
Ryan, S.J., for his great pains in reading the proofs, 
a particular acknowledgment is also due. Attention 
is directed to the analytical heading " Martyrdoms " 
in the index, which will be found of great assistance 
in appreciating the general spirit of the Martyrs, and in 
learning the many lessons contained in their lives. 



P.S. — While this work was passing through the 
press, Dr. Burton was unable, owing to many other 
occupations, to give all that time and care to revision 
and correction which a work like this required. It 
has been my privilege and pleasure to succeed him 
here. But the credit for the editor's work up till 
then — especially, that is, during those early stages 
which are proverbially the hardest — is entirely his. 

J. H. P., S.J. 


Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, for the Introduc- 
tion of the Cause of Beatification, or Declaration of Martyrdom, of two 
hundred and sixty-one Venerable Servants of God, who were put to 
death in England for the Faiih. 

In the persecution which raged so fiercely in England during the 
sixteenth century and afterwards against the Catholic Faith and the 
divinely instituted Primacy of the Roman Pontiff, very many of the 
faithful of every rank, after enduring mockery and stripes, bonds and 
imprisonment, and suffering many kinds of cruel torture, courageously 
laid down their lives for religion. By their death the enemies of 
Catholicity thought to tear up the Catholic Church by its roots, in the 
country which in past ages was deservedly called an Island of Saints. 
But the blood of the slain, who from the moment of their glorious 
deaths were everywhere held to be true Martyrs of Christ, became the 
seed of new offspring in the Church, which has there day by day 
wonderfully grown. 

The times were adverse to the drawing up of the formalities required 
for the process of these glorious Martyrs, and to the introduction of 
their cause in the Sacred Congregation of Rites, though it was greatly 
desired, not only in England, but also by the faithful throughout the 
Catholic world. But now, since the restoration of the Catholic Hier- 
archy in England, what was so earnestly looked for has in our day been 
happily accomplished. The Catholic Bishops have been able to col- 
lect together the ancient records ; and by authority of the Ordinary, to 
institute in the ecclesiastical Court of Westminster the formal Process 
as to the Martyrdom, the Cause of Martyrdom, and the signs or 
miracles of three hundred and five Servants of God who were put to 
death for the Catholic Faith. • 

The acts of this Process, supported by authentic documents, were 
laid before the Apostolic See, and were immediately followed by a 
Petition of the Bishops, and of many other distinguished ecclesiastics 
and laymen of the whole of England. 

Our Holy Father Leo XIII was pleased to entrust the examination 


APPENDIX xxxiii 

of this matter to a special Commission, consisting of several Car- 
dinals of the Holy Roman Church, and officials of the Congregation of 
Sacred Rites, with directions that the said examination should be pre- 
ceded by a disquisition, to be drawn up by the Right Reverend Pro- 
moter of the Holy Faith ; and a dispensation was also granted in 
respect to the Introduction of the Cause before the lapse often years 
required by the decrees, from the day of presenting the Ordinary 
Process in the Sacred Congregation, and in respect also to its intro- 
duction before the written documents had been revised. 

Afterwards, in a special Congregation, assembled in the Vatican on 
the day below named, the undersigned Cardinal Dominic Bartolini, 
Prefect of the said Sacred Congregation, who had charge of the Cause, 
proposed the following question : — 

" Whether the Commission is to be signed for the Introduction of the 

Cause, in the matter and to the effect under consideration.^^ 
Then the Most Reverend Fathers, and the official prelates, after 
hearing the written and oral report of the aforesaid Promoter of the 
Holy Faith, and after the matter had been fully discussed, decided : — 
" That the Commission is to he signed, if it shall please His Holiness, 
in respect of two hundred and sixty-one, namely : — 
[1537] Anthony Brookby, of the Order of St. Francis, [i.] 
[1538] Thomas Belchiam and Thomas Cort, of the Order of St. 

Francis. [2.] 
[1539] Griffith Clark, priest ; N. Waire, of the Order of St. Francis ; 
^ Adrian Fortescue and Thomas Dinglev, Knights of St. John 
of Jerusalem ; John Travers, priest, of the Order of Hermits of 
St. Augustine; ^John Beche, Abbot of Colchester; ^ Hugh 
Faringdon, Abbot of Reading; ^Richard Whiting, Abbot of 
Glastonbury ; ^ Roger James and ^ John Thorn, monks of Glas- 
tonbury; ^William Onion and ^ John Rugg, of the Order of 
St. Benedict. [12.] 
[-1540] Edmund Brindholm, priest ; Clement Philpot, layman. [2.] 
[1541] David Gunston, Knight of St. John of Jerusalem, [i.] 
[1544] John Ireland, priest ; Thomas Ashby, layman. [2.] 
[1583] John Slade and John Bodey, laymen. [2.] 
[1584] George Haydock, James Fenn, Thomas Hemerford, John 
Nutter and John Munden, priests ; William Carter, layman ; 
James Bell, priest ; John Finch and Richard White, laymen. 


[1585] Thomas Alfield, priest; Thomas Webley, layman ; Hugh 
Taylor, priest; Marmaduke Bowes, layman. [4.] 

^ Now beatified by decree of 13 May, 1895. 



[1586] Edward Strancham and Nicholas Woodfen, priests; Mar- 
garet Clithero, of the laity; Richard Sergeant {alias 
Lee), William Thomson, Robert Anderton, William Mars- 
den, Francis Ingolby, John Finglow, John Sandys, John 
Lowe, John Adams and Richard Dibdale, priests ; Robert 
BicKERDiKE and Richard Langley, laymen, [15.] 

[1587] Thomas Pilchard, Edmund Sykes, Robert Sutton, Stephen 
Rowscham, John Hambley, George Douglas and Alexander 
Crow, priests. [7.] 

[1588] Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam, Richard Sympson and 
William Dean, priests ; Henry Webley, layman ; William 
GuNTER and Robert Morton, priests ; Hugh More, layman ; 
Thomas Holford and James Claxton, priests ; Thomas Fel- 
TON, of the Order of Minims; Richard Leigh, priest; Edward 
Shelley, Richard Martin, Richard Flower, John Roch and 
Margaret Ward, of the laity ; William Way {alias Wigges), 
Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion and Christopher Buxton, 
priests ; Robert Wildmerpool, layman ; Rodolph Crochet, 
Edward James, John Robinson and William Hartley, 
priests; Robert Sutton, layman; Richard Williams, John 
Hewett {alias Weldon) and Edward Burden, priests; William 
Lampley [layman]. [31.] 

[1589] John Amias, Robert Dalby, George Nichols and Richard 
Yaxley, priests; Thomas Belson and Humphrey Prichard, 
laymen ; William Spenser, priest ; Robert Hardesty, layman. 

[1590] Christopher Bales (or Bayles), priest ; Nicholas Horner 
and Alexander Blake, laymen ; Miles Gerard, Francis 
Dickenson, Edward Jones, Anthony Middleton, Edmund 
Duke, Richard Hill, John Hog and Richard Holliday, 
priests. [11.] 

[1591] Robert Thorpe, priest; Thomas Watkinson, layman; Mom- 
ford Scott, George Beesley and Roger Dickenson, priests ; 
Rodolph Milner, William Pike and Laurence Humphrey, lay- 
men; Edmund Genings, priest; Swithin Wells, layman; 
Eustace White and Polydore Plasden, priests ; Brian Lacy, 
John Mason and Sydney Hodgson, laymen. [15.] 

[1592] William Patenson and Thomas Pormort, priests ; Robert 
[Roger] Ashton, layman. [3.] 

[1593] Edward Waterson, priest ; James Bird, layman ; Anthony 
Page, Joseph Lampton and William Davies, priests. [5.] 

[1594] John Speed, layman ; William Harrington, priest ; John 
Cornelius, of the Society of Jesus; Thomas Bosgrave, John 


Carey and Patrick Salmon, laymen ; John Boste and John 

Ingram, priests ; George Swallowell, layman ; Edward 

OsBALDESTON, priest, [ic] 
[1595J Robert Southwell, of the Society of Jesus; Alexander 

Rawlins, priest; Henry Walpole, of the Society of Jesus; 

William Freeman, priest ; Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel. 

[1596] George Errington, William Knicht, William Gibson and 

Henry Abbot, laymen. [4.] 
[1597] William Andleby, priest; Thomas Warcop and Edward 

Fulthorp, laymen. [3.] 
[1598] John Britton, layman ; Peter Snow, priest; Rodolph Grim- 

ston, layman ; John Buckley (or Jones), of the Order of St. 

Francis, Christopher Robinson and Richard Horner, priests. 

[1599] John Lion and James Dowdall, laymen. [2.] 
[1600] Christopher Wharton, priest ; John Rigby, layman ; 

Thomas Sprott, Thomas Hunt, Robert Nutter, Edward 

Thwing, and Thomas Palasor, priests ; John Norton and 

John Talbot, laymen. [9.] 
[1601] John Pibush, priest; Mark Barkworth, of the Order of St- 

Benedict; Roger Filcock, of the Society of Jesus Anne Line, 

of the laity; Thurstan Hunt and Robert Middleton, 

priests; Nicholas Tichborne and Thomas Hackshot, laymen. 

[1602] James Harrison, priest ; Anthony Bates and James Ducket, 

laymen ; Thomas Tichborne and Robert Watkinson, priests ; 

Francis Page, of the Society of Jesus. [6.] 
[1603] William Richardson, priest, [i.] 
[1604] John Sugar, priest; Robert Grissold and Laurence 

Baily, laymen. [3.] 
[1605] Thomas Welbourne, John Fulthering and William 

Brown, laymen. [3.] 
[1606] Nicholas Owen, Edward Oldcorne and Rodolph Ashley, 

of the Society of Jesus. [3.] 
[1607] Robert Drury, priest, [i.] 
[1608] Matthew Flathers, priest ; George Gervase, of the Order 

of St. Benedict; Thomas Garnet, of the Society of Jesus. [3.] 
[1610] Roger Cadwallador, George Napier and Thomas Somers, 

priests ; William Scot [sic] and John Roberts, of the Order 

of St. Benedic\ [5.] 
[1612] Richard Newport and John Almond, priests. [2.] 


[1616] Thomas Atkinson and John Thulis, priests; Roger 
Wrenno, layman; Thomas Maxfield and Thomas Tunstal, 
priests. [5.] 

[1618J William Southerne, priest, [i.] 

[1628] Edmund Arrowsmith, of the Society of Jesus; Richard 
Herst, layman. [2,] 

[1641] William Ward, priest ; Edward Barlow, of the Order of St. 
Benedict, [2.] 

[1642] Thomas Reynolds, priest ; Bartholomew Roe, of the Order 
of St. Benedict ; John Lockwood, Edmund Catherick, Edward 
Morgan and Hugh Green, priests; Thomas Bullaker, of the 
Order of St. Francis ; Thomas Holland, of the Society of Jesus. 

[1643] Henry Heath and Arthur Bell, of the Order of St. Francis. 

[1644] [Robert] Price, layman; John Ducket, priest; Rodolfh 
Corby, of the Society of Jesus. [3.] 

[1645] Henry Morse and Brian Cansfield, of the Society of Jesus; 
John Goodman, priest. [3.] 

[1646] Philip Powel, of the Order of St. Benedict ; Edward 
Bamber, priest ; John Woodcock, of the Order of St. Francis ; 
Thomas Whitaker, priest. [4.] 

[1651] Peter Wright, of the Society of Jesus, [i.] 

[1654] John Southworth, priest, [i.] 

[1678] Edward Coleman, layman ; Edward Mico and Thomas 
Bedingfield, of the Society of Jesus. [3.] 

[1679] William Ireland, of the Society of Jesus; John Grove, 
layman ; Thomas Pickering, of the Order of St. Benedict ; 
Thomas Whitbread, William Harcourt, John Fenwick, 
John Green (or Gavan), Anthony Turner and Francis 
Nevill, of the Society of Jesus; Richard Langhorne, layman ; 
William Plessington, priest ; Philip Evans, of the Society of 
Jesus; John Lloyd and Nicholas Postgate, priests ; Charles 
Mahony, John Wall and Francis Levison, of the Order of 
St. Francis; John Kemble, priest; David Lewis {alias Charles 
Baker), of the Society of Jesus. [19.] 

[1680] Thomas Thwing, priest; William Howard, Viscount Stafford. 


[1681] Oliver Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh, [i.] " 

As to the other forty-four the decision was : " Delayed^ and 
further proofs must he given.'''' 

The ^th day of December, 1886. 


The undersigned Secretary having then made a faithful and 
accurate report of all that precedes to our Holy Father Pope Leo 
XIII, His Holiness, ratifying the decision of the Sacred Congregation^ 
vouchsafed to sign the Commission for the Introduction of the Cause 
with his own hand, on the ninth day of the same month and year. 

D. Cardinal Bartolini, 
L. ►f' S. Prefect of the Congregation of Sacred Rites. 

Laurence Salvati, 


To avoid constant repetition in the lists of authorities appended to the 
lives, the following abbreviations have been employed. 

A. E. M. = Acts of English Martyrs, 1578- 1642. By the Rev. J. H. 
Pollen, S.J. (London, Burns & Gates, i8gi.) 

Bridgewater, Concertatio = Concertatio Ecclesice Catholicce in Anglia. 
(Treves, 1588.) 

Challoner = Memoirs of Missionary Priests as well secular as regU' 
lar ; and of other Catholics of both sexes, that have suffered 
death in England on religions accounts, from the year of Our 
Lord 1577 to 1648. By Bishop Challoner. (First edition, 1741-2. 
Latest edition, London, 1878.) 

C. R. S. = The publications of the Catholic Record Society. The most 
frequently quoted volume is the fifth : Unpublished Documents 
relating to the English Martyrs, 1584-1603. Collected and edited 
by John Hungerfbrd Pollen, S.J. (London, igo8.) 

Douay Diaries = The First and Second Diaries of the English Col- 
lege, Douay, and an Appendix of Unpublished Documents. Edited 
by Fathers of the Congregation of the London Oratory. With an 
Historical Introduction by Thomas Francis Knox, D.D. (London, 
Da\'id Nutt, 1878.) 

Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. = A Literary and Biographical His- 
tory ; or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics, 
from the breach ivith Rome in 1534, to the present time. Five 
vols. By Joseph Gillow. (London, Burns & Gates, no date.) 

Morris, Troubles — The Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers related 
^ by themselves. Edited by John Morris, priest of the Society of 
Jesus. (London, Burns & Gates, first series, 1872 ; second series, 
1875 ; third series, 1877.) 

Yepes, Hist. Part. = Historia Particular de la persecucion de Ingla- 

terra, y de los martirios mas insignes que en ella na avido, 

desde el ano del Senor, 1570. Recogida por el Padre Fray Diego 

Yepes, confessor del Rey Don Felipe II, Gbispo de Tara9ona, en 

. Madrid, aiio 1599. 




Winchester, 30 October, 1583. 

On 6 May, 1626, Benjamin Norton, vicar for Kent, 
Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire, wrote to 
Dr. Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon : — 

** Of Mr. J. Slade I yett knowe noe more but that 
I knewe the man well & he was reputed then to bee 
a dorsett shire man, of whome I knowe noe more butt 
thatt hee was a most constant mortified man, &c." 
{C.R.S. V. 395). 

He was probably a relative to that John Slade, late 
of Manston, Dorset, gent, (of whom the Recusancy 
Roll, 37 Eliz., 1594-5, records that he was fined ;£*ioo 
for non-attendance at church for five months) ; and 
he is described in the account of his martyrdom cited 
later as a schoolmaster. Beyond this, we know no 
more of him before his arrest than Benjamin Norton 

Father William Warford, S.J., speaks of him as 
having been " expelled from New College, Oxford, by 
Home the pseudo-bishop " of Winchester ; but he 
was certainly not on the foundation of that college. 


and it is very improbable that one who had afterwards 
to teach for his living would have gone to Oxford as 
a gentleman-commoner. 

Bishop Challoner says that he was " for some time 
a student in the canon and civil law in the university 
of Douay and a convictor of the English College in 
that city " : but no evidence is forthcoming that any 
Slade matriculated at the University of Douay, and 
the " Sladus " without a Christian name who figures 
in the Douay Diaries is most probably the William 
Slade of Lichfield diocese who afterwards became a 

On 14 June, 1582, the Privy Council sent " A letter 
unto Sir John Horsie, Knight, and George Trenchard, 
Esquiar, for the apprehending and sending up of one 
Slade, a verie daungerous Papist lurking within that 
county of Dorset, and all suche superstitious orna- 
mentes and tromperie as they can by diligent search 
find out, together with the said Slade " (Dasent, 
xiii. 446). He was soon after arrested and committed 
to Winchester Jail. Some incidents of his imprison- 
ment there and double trial will be found in the ac- 
count of his fellow-prisoner and fellow-martyr John 
Body. An account of his death is extant in a book 
printed in London by Richard Jones, in 1583, of 
which there is a copy, mainly in Black Letter, in the 
British Museum. It lacks the title-page but is other- 
wise apparently perfect. It seems to be more trust- 
worthy than the account in Westminster Archives 
printed by Father J. H. Pollen, S.J., in his Acts 
of English Martyrs, pp. 57 sqq. (For example, the 
book ^ives *' Fr^uncis Cotton" in^te^d of the W^^'' 


minster Archives' unknown " Francis Coke " among 
the gentlemen present at the executions.) It has, 
therefore, been transcribed here. Father Pollen justly 
says : " It may be noted that though the Martyrs are 
described throughout as traitors, the report is in other 
respects not unsympathetic. May it not be that 
while written by a Catholic, this half-transparent 
device was adopted in order to allow of its publication 
in England ? The initials would suit Robert Barnes, 
who was condemned in 1598 to be hanged for felony 
because he had harboured the Martyr John Jones, 
alias Buckley, O.S.F." Robert Barnes was not 
executed, but remained in prison till the accession 
of James I. 

The missing title-page may be taken to be the 
same in the main as that given by Father Pollen, 
loc. cit. 

The book as it stands begins as follows : — 

To the worshipfull & his very good freend 
Maister H.S. 

Wheras your worship (at my last being with you) 
desired mee to let you haue knowledge of the manner 
of the ende and confessions of BODY and SLADE, 
two notorious Traitours : I haue, according to my 
promise, sent you the true Discourse thereof : For, 
I being present thereat (as you knowe) vpon some 
especial occasions, haue set down so neere as memorie 
would serue mee, the certaintie therof, which you 
maye be bolde to declare to your Frends for a very 
trueth ; nottwithstanding the sundry flying tales 
rumored abroade by the Papists according to their 
accustomed manner, as theif affection serueth them, 


I haue sent you the trueth, and nothing but the trueth, 
and therof you may assuredly perswade your selfe. 
Thus with the continuall desire of your welfare, with 
all yours, I commit you to the heauvenly protection. 

From Winchester, by your Freend to use. 

R. B. 

These Gentlemen and Justices of Peace, were pre- 
sent at these Executions. 

M. Robert White, Highe Sherife of the Shiere. 

S. William Kingsmell, Knight. 

M. John Fisher, Justice of Peace. 

M. William Saint-John, Justice of peace. 

M. Thomas West, Sonne to the Lorde Delaware. 

M. Frauncis Cotton, Justice of peace. 

M. William Wright, Justice of peace. 

M. Beniamin Touchbourne, Justice of peace. 

Beside many other Gentlemen of countenance and 

The Execution and Confession of John Slade, an 
obstinate and notorious Traitour, who was drawen 
hanged, and quartered for highe treason against her 
Maiestie, at Winchester, on Wednesday, the xxx day 
of Octob. 1583. On Wednesdaye, beeing the 30, of 
October, John Slade, sometime a Scholemaister, was 
drawen upon a Hurdell from the prison in Winchester, 
to the market place where the execution was ap- 
pointed ; and being come to the aforesaid place, and 
taken off the Hurdell, he came and kneeled downe by 
the gallowes, making a crosse with his hande uppon 
one of the poastes therof, and kissed it, using silent 
Prayers in latine to him selfe. Afterward, being come 


upon the ladder, he beganne in this maner. I am 
come hither this day to suffer death for my faith, 
what faith ? no rare faith, but euen the faith that 
hath, continued from all posterities: Wherupon Sir 
William Kingsmell, knight, spake to him as thus : 
Slade, doe not thus delude the People with plausible 
speeches, you are come hither to suffer death for high 
treason against her Maiestie, you have ben lawfully 
and sufficiently convicted therof, and therfore you are 
brought to endure y^ punishment that Law hath 
assigned you. You have denyed her maiestie to 
haue any supremacie ouer the Church of Christ in 
England, both in causes Ecclesiasticall andtemporall, 
which fact is high treason : and therfore you .are 
worthy to suffer death, in that you will not giue her 
maiestie her dutie and your allegiaunce. Oh Sir 
William (quoth he) I will giue her maiestie as mutche 
as euer hath beene giuen to any Prince in this Realme, 
& wil shew her as much dutie, as he that is her most 
obedient Subject. That do you not (answered Sir 
William Kingsmell) for you rob her of her Ecclesi- 
astical and temporal gouernement, which all Princes 
hath enjoyed, and you traiterously take from her : 
therefore how do you giue her as much as any Prince 
hath had, and howe doe you showe your selfe a sub- 
iect, in this unnaturall dealing, to preferre a forraine 
gouernement, before your owne lawfull Queen. 

Sir (sayd Slade) the supremacie hath & doth belong 
to the Pope by right, euen as from Peter, & the Pope 
hath receiued it by diuin prouidence : therefore we 
must not giue those thinges belonging to god, to any 
other then him alone : and because I wil not do 


otherwise, I may saye with the three children in the 
firie Ouen, and the first of the Widowes seuen Sonnes, 
in the Maccabees. Parati sumus mori, magis quam 
patrias Dei leges praeuaricari. Then M. Robert 
White (high Sherife of the Shiere) sayd to him, that 
he shewed himself very undutifuU to her Maiestie : 
and therfore willed him to aske her forgiuenes : O 
Maister Sherif (quoth hee) you knowe if Paule and 
Peter would haue obeyed their Princes, they had not 
suffered death. At these words M. Doctor Bennet, 
one of the Chaplains to the right honorable the Lord 
Treasourer, came to him and sayd : Slade, do not 
abuse the people thus, with these wordes : Paule & 
Peter were put to death for religion, they were com- 
maunded not to preach in the name of Jesus, are you 
commaunded any such thing : Oh Sir (answered 
Slade) I would wish you to behaue your self after ye 
manner of a Trewant, whose nature is to forget, and 
so would I have you forget your wicked life and begin 
a new. Slade (said M. Bennet) I come as one that 
wisheth well to thy soule, thou art now at y^ pits 
brink, consider how highly thou offendest God, and 
likewise howe thou hast transgressed against her 
Maiestie : I desire thee in the bowelles of Christ, be 
not so wilfull, loose not that so lightly which he hath 
bought with his most pretious blood. And if my 
wordes may not preuaile with thee, yet for ye love of 
thine owne soule, forsake this damnable opinion, let not 
that unworthie Priest be preferred before thine own 
natural Princesse, who is the lawful supreme head 
of the church, next under Christ. Thou knowest 
how he hath depriued her of her gouernement by his 


excommunication, and wilt thou be so wicked as leane 
to him and forsake her? Sir (answered Slade) you 
are very busie in words, if the Pope hath done so, I 
think he hath done no more than he may, and than 
he ought to do, for I wil acknowledge no other head 
of the church, but only the Pope, and her Maiestie 
hath no authoritie in temporall causes (likewise) but 
only what hee shall thinke good to allow her. At 
these words, the people cried, away with the Traitour, 
hang him, hang him. Maister Sherife willed him 
againe to ask her Maiestie forgiuenes. Why should 
I aske her forgiuenes (quoth hee) wherein have I 
offended her ? Then M. Bennet desired him to com- 
mend his soule to God, and desire the people to praye 
for him, but he sayd, they and hee were not of one 
faith & therefore they should not praye for him, & 
I desire al blessed people (quoth he) to pray for me, 
and all the Saintes and blessed Companie of Heauen. 
So after he had staied so long as it pleased himself 
and had mumbled a many latine praiers silently to 
himself, he was cast beside the ladder, and afterward 
was cut downe and quartered, according to his Judge- 


J. B. W. 



Andovery 2 November, 1583.^ 

John Body was born in 1549 ^^ Wells, where his 
father, according to Bishop Challoner, was a wealthy 
merchant, and had served the office of Mayor. At 
the age of twelve he was sent to Winchester College. 
The roll for the year 1562 was a long one containing 
twenty-six names, among which are found those of 
John Bustard, Giles Gallop, Anthony Twichener and 
Gratian Brunell, of whom the former two suffered 
exile, and the latter two imprisonment, for the Catholic 
faith. In due course John Body proceeded to New 
College, Oxford, where he became *' true and perpetual 
Fellow " in 1568. On 16 January, 1575-6, the Visitor 
of the College, Dr. Home, the Protestant Bishop of 
Winchester (whose nephew, the Wykehamist, Adam 
Home, then a Fellow, was to die three years later at 
the English College, Douay), opened his visitation by 
his commissaries (themselves both Wykehamists), 

1 This account is reprinted with some additions and omissions 
from the writer's pamphlet Two English Martyrs, published by 
the Catholic Truth Society. 


John Kingsmill and Thomas Bilson, M.A., his future 
successor. Nothing much was done by them, though 
in the course of their inquiries we find that John 
Body was accused of the heinous offence of keeping 
dogs in College. On the following i February he 
took the degree of M.A. In June following the 
visitation was resumed by Dr. Home in person, who 
seems to have behaved in a most truculent and doubt- 
fully legal manner. In the event seven Fellows were 
deprived, including John Body. He was, no doubt, 
in reality deprived for his Catholic sympathies, what- 
ever the nominal reason may have been ; for, on i 
May in the next year, 1577, he arrived at the English 
College, Douay, to study civil law, in company with 
John Rasyn, or Raison, formerly a Cantor in Wells 
Cathedral.^ Both of them were convictors for some 
time at the College, and both matriculated at the 
University of Douay, though it does not appear that 
either took any degree. 

On 27 August, 1577, John Body went to Amiens 
to visit the relics of St. John the Baptist there, re- 
turning to Douay two days later ; and on 27 February, 
1577-8, he set out for England with Mr. Rasyn. 

Wood states that when beyond the seas " he took 

^ His name is also spelt Reason and Rayson. He was born 
in Kirton, Lincolnshire, though sometimes described as "of 
Westminster, yeoman ". Committed to the Clink for religion, 
16 October, 1582, he was in Newgate from 18 to 24 January, 
1582-3, whence he was again transferred to the Clink. He was 
still in prison somewhere in London in 1588, and we find him 
in the Gatehouse 6 July, 1602 {C.R.S. ii. 226, 227, 229, 230, 
284, 288). 


upon himself priestly orders," but this is a mistake. 
He returned to England a layman. It is not quite 
certain that he was not married, for the following 
entry in the Acts of the Privy Council (Dasent, xiii. 
loi), though it may refer to his mother, would seem, 
primd facie, to allude to his wife. It is dated 24 June, 
1581, and runs as follows : '* This daye Marie Bodye, 
wyfe of John Bodie in the countye of Somersett, 
entred into bond in C^^ with two suerties to observe 
the generall condicions appointed for the recusantes, 
and so was uppon her humble sute to the Lordes 
enlarged ".1 On his return to England, before his 
arrest, he, like his fellow-martyr, John Slade, was a 
schoolmaster, it would appear in Hampshire, and had 
under his care Benjamin Norton, above mentioned 
p. i), and probably also Anthony Norton, and 
possibly Henry Tichborne, and his own brother 

He was apprehended, probably in or before 1580, 
as it would seem at the house of Mr. Henry Shelley 
of Maplederham, near Petersfield, Hampshire.^ 

The precise date of his commitment to prison is 
unknown. From 5 September, 1581, to 28 April, 

^ Mary Body had apparently conformed by the following 27 
November, ibid. p. 265. 

^Benjamin Norton says {C.R.S. v. 395) : "Of Mr. J. Boddie 
I can saye that he was my scolemaster a yeere or to beefore his 
Apprehension at Mr. Archdeacon Shellye his fathers howse, 
where he was taken & Committed by S'". Richard Norton, & by 
reason of this former acquaintance his good mother Comminge 
to see her sonne, came to my mothers howse from Wells in 
Summersett shire, wheare shee lived & as I thinke her sonne was 
borne ". 


1582, he was fettered with iron shackles and again 
later on. On 11 January, 1582-3, a search was made 
by Sir Richard Norton, William Wright, and Thomas 
Fleming in the chambers in Winchester Jail then 
occupied by lay recusants (Mr. Richard W^arnford, 
of the City of Winchester, a senior contemporary of 
Body at Winchester and New College, Mr. Howard, 
Mr. Slade, Mr. Body, Mr. Travers and Mercy Deane), 
which resulted in the discovery of an altar-stone, a 
missal, a rosary, a cope, a set of mass-vestments, a 
pair of large wax candles, and a quantity of books. 
At that time Body and Slade shared one chamber in 
which were found copies of the following works : ^ 
A lien, of Purgatory ; ^ A Christian Exercise ; ^ A 
Treatise of the Church ; * and Smyth, of the Mass. ^ 

They had been tried at Winchester and condemned 
to death before 24 April, 1583, on which date the 
Rev. George Birkett, a Seminary priest and native of 
Durham, wrote a Latin letter from London to Dr. 
Allen (printed Records Eng. Cath. vol. i. p. 353), 
from which I translate a passage, as follows : " Body 

1 P.R.O., S.P. Dom. Eliz. clviii. 19. 

'-* A Defense and Declaration of the Catholike Churches Doc- 
trine touching Purgatory and Prayers for the Soules Departed. 
By William Allen, Maister of Arte and Student in Divinitie. 
Antverpiae, 1 565, 8vo. 

^ Father Parsons' The First Book of Christian Exercise, 
appertayning to resolution, etc. [Rouen], 1582, i2mo. 

^ Probably A Treatise of Schisme ... By Gregorie 
Martin, Licentiate in Divinitie. Duaci, apud Johannem Foul- 
erum, 1578, i6mo. 

^ Probably Dr. Richard Smith's A defence of the sacrifice 
of the Masse, London, i Feb. 1546-7. 


and Slade, most valiant soldiers of Christ, have been 
condemned to death at Winchester; but have not 
yet undergone their sentence. Before the judgement- 
seat they pleaded the cause of the Catholic Religion 
with such prudent answers and so much fervour of 
soul, that they have drawn back the greater part of 
the County of Hampshire from the churches of the 
heretics. Before this, indeed, many gentlefolk in 
that district were Catholics ; but now not only the 
majority of the gentlefolk, but even the very rustics, 
fly to join us from all sides." 

There was, apparently, some flaw in this trial, and 
the two heroes were again indicted at another 
sessions, held at Andover on ig August (S.P. Dom. 
Eliz. clxii. 8), on the same indictment, and again 
condemned. The following Stonyhurst document is 
quoted by Father Pollen, S.J. {A.E.M. 51-52): 
"John Body and John Slade were arraigned at the 
Assizes holden at Andover upon the Supremacy. 
Among the rest were present Dr. Humphrey, who 
used persuasions to convert them, and vouched a 
place out of Eusebius, that Constantine the Great 
did call the Nicene Council upon his own authority, 
as he says, whereby he concluded that the Emperor s 
authority was above the Pope's ; and urged upon the 
place in this sort : Constantinus vocavit concilium. Mr. 
Body answered : * Indeed Constantinus vocavit con- 
cilium, sed ex sententia sacerdotis,' and that these were 
the words of the author, whereof the one said yea, 
and the other nay. * Will you pawn your considera- 
tion thereon,' said the Doctor. 'Yea, and my life 
and all that I am worth,' said Mr. Body, ' if you will 


pawn your credit/ and so demurred upon that issue. 
The book that night was sent for. Next day when 
judgement was to be given, the judge according to 
the course asked : ' How sayest thou, Body, what 
canst thou say for thyself why thou shouldst not have 
judgement to die ? ' Slade answered, ' What ! is the 
matter come thereto ? Where is Mr. Doctor ? ' and 
Mr. Body drew out the book from under his cloak 
and opened it, and pointed to the place where the 
words were as he had said. One of the judges 
plucked a pamphlet out of his bosom which the 
Doctor had left with them [i.e., the judges] and cast 
it unto them [i.e.. Body and Slade], for the Doctor 
had gone away overnight. ..." 

The Dr. Humphrey above mentioned was the then 
Dean of Winchester, Laurence Humphrey, D.D. 
It appears that the discussion begun at Andover was 
continued at Winchester about a fortnight after the 
second trial, Dr. Humphrey receiving the assistance 
of the Warden of Winchester College, Dr. Thomas 
Bilson (already mentioned) in presenting the Pro- 
testant case, " att which tyme the saide Deane and 
Warden did vrge the saide Boddy to shewe what he 
had collected or could advouche for the mayntenaunce 
of his said erronious opynion. Wherevppon the 
saide Boddye didd pull a paper out of his bozam with 
notes collected out of the Storye of Ewsebius towch- 
inge a counsell helden att Nece in the tyme of the 
Emperor Constantine " {C.R.S. v. 50). This paper 
or a fair copy of it or a similar paper handed to 
the High Sheriff at his execution, is still preserved 
in the Record Office, and as it has been printed in 


full by Father Pollen it is unnecessary to give an 
abstract of it. 

"About September, 1583, Body wrote a letter to 
some friends at Rheims, a copy of a part of which is 
preserved at Stonyhurst. This seems to have been 
made for transmission to Rome and is endorsed by 
Dr. Barrett : A part of a letter written by Mr. 
John Bodey out of Prison, to Mr. D. Elie and Mr. 
Reynolds, a little before his martyrdom, in the behalf 
of his Brother [Gilbert] now at Rheims" (A.E.M. 
54). Gilbert Body arrived at Rheims 11 October, 
1583, with Mr. John Trevethan ^ and probably was the 
bearer of the letter. He left 25 February, 1585-6, 
with Anthony Norton. The persons to whom it was 
addressed are Humphrey Ely, LL.D., whose acquaint- 
ance Mr. Body probably made at Douay, and' William 
Rainolds, with whom he had been six years at New 
College. The part that has been preserved runs as 
follows : — 

'* I hope it shall not hinder him in this point, that 
he was taken with a blessed Martyr, Mr. Briant ^ in 
London, lying in one chamber together, for whose 
sake he was piteously scourged in Bridewell and 
afterwards imprisoned in one of the Counters. Since 
which time, being then enlarged upon bond of ap- 
pearance at a call within a limited time, which long 
ago is expired and he never called, he hath kept him- 
self secret, not daring to come into the view of the 

^ The Ven. John Hambley's a/i'as was Tregwethan. 
'^Blessed Alexander Briant vv^s arrested 28 April, i^Sj 
(^Dz'cf, Nat. Btog, vi, 309), 


world for fear of another apprehension ; and now he 
hopeth to be there where he may live in some quiet- 
ness of serving God without fear. I beseech you, 
therefore, and either of you, even for charity sake, 
and for the love of God that he may have your lawful 
furtherance either by your letters or as you shall 
think good. As for my own part, here I live twice 
condemned, which perhaps may seem strange unto 
you, and not once dead. I have not wanted, I thank 
God, anything necessary for me except the full service 
of God [i.e. Mass] for the space of these three years, 
and somewhat more,since I was first imprisoned. I am 
now cunning, I thank God, in wearing of iron shackles, 
and can take heed of interfering. I have been now 
twice clogged with them. The first time was from the 
5th of September, 1581, as well night as day, until the 
28th of April next following ; at which time my keeper 
(not the first, for he is deceased, but another), was 
grievously reprehended for showing such favour, and 
commanded to lay irons upon me and Mr. Slade 
again, with straight charge to keep us one from the 
other, and to see that no access might be to us. But 
we consider that iron for this cause borne on earth 
shall surmount gold and precious stones in Heaven. 
That is our mark, that is our desire. In the mean 
season we are threatened daily, and do look still 
when the hurdle shall be brought to the door. I 
beseech you, for God's sake, that we want not the 
good prayers of you all for our strength, our joy, and 
our perseverance unto the end. And thus with my 
commendations to yourselves and others which know 
mQ, J cgrnmit us ^11 to the grace ^nd rnercy of th§ 


Blessed Trinity. From our school of patience, the 
i6th Sept., 1583. 

" Yours, as you know, 

"John Bodey." 
About this time Sister Elizabeth Sander, O.SS.S., 
a sister of Dr. Nicholas Sander, was in free custody 
in Winchester Jail and under orders from the Mother 
Abbess and Father Confessor of her convent to rejoin 
the community at Rouen as soon as possible. This 
she eventually did, and from Rouen wTote a long 
letter to Sir Francis Englefield at Madrid, describing 
her many sufferings and adventures in England. The 
original has perished ; but a translation in Spanish 
has been printed by Bishop Yepes in his Historia 
Particular de la Persecucion de Inglaterra, 1599, pp. 
724-37. This has been retranslated by Dom Adam 
Hamilton, O.S.B., in The Poor Sotds' Friend (vols. 
i. and ii., published at Chudleigh, 1893-6). At 
this time, as it would appear from her letter, she 
was under parole not to escape ; but being desirous 
of rejoining her community, as she was bidden to do, 
she consulted the four or five of the most learned and 
experienced priests who were her fellow-prisoners as 
to whether she might lawfully escape should occasion 
offer. They answered in the negative. Dissatisfied 
with this reply, she laid the case before our martyrs 
and their companions. ''These gentlemen," she 
writes, ''were of the same opinion as the priests, that 
I should not take to flight, on account of the scandal 
that might follow, but they thought I might procure 
my liberty in another way, to wit by money, and they 
took up the matter warmly, offering a considerable 


sum in hopes that by this means I might be set free." 
But the sister of Dr. Sander was too valuable a 
prisoner for her liberation to be purchased. 

Father William Warford, S.J., who perhaps was 
related to Richard Warnford, and certainly knew our 
martyrs personally, writes of them thus : — 

*' In Winchester gaol they distinguished them- 
selves by their edifying lives and zeal for souls. On 
this account, Cowper, the Superintendent, brought 
about their deaths which they underwent with 
admirable constancy." 

But as Thomas Cowper did not succeed Dr. 
Watson till 1584, *' he could not," as Bishop Challoner 
points out, "have prosecuted them in 1583, at least, 
not in quality of bishop of Winchester ". 

To resume Father Warford's account : " Facilities 
for escaping were oftentimes aiforded them, even by 
the keepers themselves,^ of whom one or two were 
converted by them to the Catholic Faith. One of 
these two. Body, I think, as trustworthy Catholics 
relate, saw in a dream the night before his death, two 
bulls attacking him very furiously, but without at 
all hurting him, at which he was much astonished. 
The next day two hangmen came down from London 
to execute him, and, as they walked on either side of 
him, he chanced to ask their names, and as they one 
after the other answered that they were called Bull, 
he, at once remembering his dream, said : * Blessed 
be God ; you are then those two bulls who gave me 
such trouble last night in my dream, and yet did me 

^ This was also the case with Sister Elizabeth Sander as her 
letter shows. 



no harm'. He then joyfully composed himself for 

One of these Bulls was "the hangman of New- 
gate," **that fury of hell and butchery knave," and is 
mentioned as the executioner of B.B. John Felton 
and John Payne and of Ven. Anthony Middleton. 

The copy of the book in the British Museum 
from which Slade's martyrdom has already been 
transcribed thus narrates that of Body : — 

" The Execution and Confession of another Notori- 
ous Traitour named John Bodye (somtime a maister 
of Arte in Oxeforde) who was likewise (for high treason 
against her Maiestie) drawen, hanged, and quartered, 
at Andouer, on Saturday the 2 of Nouember 1583. 

"John Body, a Master of Art (somtime in Oxford, 
a companion to this Slade),^ was caried from Win- 
chester to Andouer, a towne ten miles from Win- 
chester, where the Assizes were holden, & where they 
were condemned. There was he, on the Saturday 
following, drawen on a Hurdell to ye place of execu- 
tion, and beeing layd on the Hurdell he spake thus : 
O sweete Bed, the happiest Bed that ever man laye 
in, thou art welcome to me. Then, taken from the 
Hurdell, he spake to maister Sherife as concerning a 
disputation which had passed betweene him & Doctor 
Humfrey about Constantine th'emperour & he had 
written in a sheet of paper certaine articles in answere 
to Doctor Humfrey, which he wold haue read before 
ye people, but, because ye time was short, he could 
not read them, but gaue them to M. high Sherife, that 

1 1 think this is a mistake and should read " a Master of Art 
somtime in Oxford (a companion to this Slade) ". 


Doctor Humfrey might see them. When ye hang- 
man put the halter about his neck, he sayde : Oh 
blessed Chaine, the sweetest Chaine and richest that 
euer came about any mans neck, and so, kissing it, 
he suffered the hangman to put it about his neck. 
There was also present Maister Bennet, who laboured 
very godly and earnestly to disswade him from his evil 
opinion, but all was in vaine, he was so obstinat and 
wilfuU, Hee likewise appealed upon his faith, which 
(he said) was the cause of his death : but Sir William 
Kingsmel tould him he died for high treason against 
her Maiestie whereof he had been sufficiently con- 
victed. Indeede (quoth he) I haue been sufficiently 
convicted for I haue been condemned twice, & you 
may make the hearing of a blessed Masse treason, 
or the saying of an Aue Maria treason ; you may 
make what you will treason ; but I haue committed no 
treason, although, indeede, I suffer the punishment 
due to treason. 

"Why, (quod M. high Sherife), you know ye Pope 
hath excommunicated her Maiestie & you forsake 
her & cleaue to him : what say you to this : you 
denie her her speciall ^ authoritie and wil not ac- 
knowledge her as your lawful Queene. Yes, (quod 
he), in those causes that pertain unto her I ac- 
knowledge her my lawful Souereigne & Queene : 
but for ye speciall ^ cause I will abyde a thousand 
deaths before I consent to it : & if the Pope haue 
done well, let him aunswere it ; if he haue done ill, 

1 " Speciall " should almost certainly read " spiritual " as 
Father Pollen emends his MS. {Acts of English Marly rs^ 
p. 64). 


let him likewise answere it. I acknowledge her my 
lawfull Queene in all temporall causes and none 
other. You shall do wel then, said S. William Kings- 
mell, to satisfie the people in the cause of your death, 
because (otherwise) they may be deluded by your 
faire speeches. You shall understand, (quoth he), 
good people all, yt I suffer death for not graunting 
her M. to be supreme head of Christes Church in 
Englande, which I may not and will not graunt. 

" Well then, quoth Maister Sherife, ask her maiestie 
forgiueness, & then desire the People to praye for 
you. In troth, quoth he, I must needs aske her 
Maiestie forgiuenes, for I haue offended her many 
wayes, as in using unlawfull games, excesse of apparel, 
and other offences to her lawes ; but in this matter 
you shall pardon me. And, (for the People), because 
they & I are different in religion, I wil not haue them 
praye for me. But I pray God long to preserue her 
Maiestie in tranquillity ouer you, euen Queene 
Elizabeth, your Queene and mine, and I desire you 
to obey none other. At length, saying, Jesu, Jesu, 
esto mihi Jesu, three times hee was put beside the 
ladder, and quartered according to his judgment. 
" Finis." 

According to a Douay MS., quoted by Bishop Chal- 
loner, John Body's mother, " hearing afterwards of 
her son's happy death, made a great feast upon that 
occasion, to which she invited her neighbours, re- 
joicing at his death as his marriage, by which his 
soul was happily and eternally espoused to the 

J. B. W. 


Authorities. — Oxford College Histories; New College, pp. 
133 sqq. Wood, Fasti Oxonienses. Dasent, xiii. loi. Kirby, 
Winchester Scholars. Father Warford's Relation of Martyrs^ 
A.E.M. 55 sqq., and as in text. On the tract, The several 
Executions and Confessions of John Slade and John Bodye, see 
also Maitland, Index of English Books in the Library at Lam- 
beth, p. 102 ; Herbert, ii. 1044 ; Loundes (1863), p. 2412. 



Tyburn^ ii January, 1584. 

William Carter, printer and bookseller, would never 
in the ordinary course have found a biographer. 
What has lifted the man to well-deserved fame, is 
the prolonged persecution that gave so much character 
and merit to his life, and the martyrdom which has 
thrown back such an honourable lustre on the whole 
of his career. 

By birth a Londoner, his father, John Carter, 
apprenticed him in 1563 to John Cawood the Elder, 
the Queen's printer, for the term of ten years. 
Cawood was a Catholic, as well as a famous printer, 
and under him Carter was likely to become not only 
a good craftsman, but also to remain true to his 
faith. The next thing we hear about him is, that 
he entered the service of Dr. Harpsfield, as an 
amanuensis, that he had assisted in his publications, 
and that he had endeavoured to preserve or publish 
other writings after his master's death in 1575. This 
was alleged against him as a crime, at his trial, and 

we may well admit it, as no mean praise. 



Dr. Nicholas Harpsfield of Winchester and New 
College, Oxford, had been Professor of Greek at the 
University. He was a staunch Catholic, who had 
been compelled to fly under Edward VI, while under 
Mary he became Archdeacon of Canterbury. He 
was a writer of some note and though the difficulties 
of the times prevented his publishing much, several 
of his manuscripts were preserved, and some have 
been printed since. It is thus possible that our 
martyr was connected with Harpsfield's interesting 
Dialogi Sex, written against the Magdeburg Cen- 
turiators and against John Foxe. It was printed 
at Antwerp, the first edition bearing date 1566, 
the second, by Plantin, was in 1573. What is certain 
is, that Carter preserved a copy of Harpsfield's 
Historia Anglicana Ecclesiastica, which was eventually 
found in Carter's house by the pursuivants, and prob- 
ably several other books of value which we can no 
longer trace. 

These few facts do not tell us much about our 
martyr, but enough to indicate something of his 
steady devotion to the propaganda of Catholic books. 
It may very probably be that his service to Dr. 
Harpsfield was undertaken with a view to obtaining 
Catholic education for himself, at the same time that 
he copied for his master. When on his trial he 
defended himself with the intelligence of a man who 
knew how to think, as well as how to print. 

Dr. Harpsfield was a prisoner in the Fleet during 
the time Carter served him, so that even when young, 
our martyr knew what it cost to profess Catholicism 
in those days. After the Doctor's death, probably in 


prison, i8 December, 1575, we find Carter following 
in his master's steps. We have the dates of some 
of his imprisonments. He was committed to the 
Poultry Counter, 23 September, 1578, and delivered 
out on bond after a month. Next year, 1579, he was 
committed to the Gatehouse in December, and 
Bishop Aylmer then stated that he had been " divers 
times " in prison before, for printing '' lewd [Aylmer's 
word for Catholic] pamphlets". On this occasion 
his press was seized for the second time, as well as 
various books. One of these books was a manuscript 
copy of Francois de Belleforest entitled ''L' Inno- 
cence de la tres illustre, tres chaste et debonnaire 
Princesse Madame Marie, Reyne d'Escosse, etc." 
(originally printed in 1572), and it was found, said 
Aylmer, hidden under Carter's pillow. It is char- 
acteristic of Carter's accusers, that he is held 
personally responsible for the unfavourable reflec- 
tions, which were made by Belleforest years before 
on the English Government, for its treatment of the 
Scottish Queen. It does not, however, seem that 
Carter was tried or sentenced for having had or 
copied these books, as the note against him in the 
lists of prisoners is merely "for not conforming him- 
self in matters of religion ". 

Whilst he was in confinement, however, evidence 
came to hand, connecting him with the printing and 
publication of a book by Gregory Martin, called 
A Treatise of Schism, written in 1578 in order to keep 
Catholics from going to Protestant service. If 
Carter's defence at his trial in January, 1584, was 
accurately reported, he admitted in January, 1581, 


that he had printed and published that excellent 
book ; but though he was afterwards to die for 
having done so, the Government had not at that time 
discovered any extraordinary mischief in the work, 
and Carter was released after remaining in confine- 
ment for six months more. 

In May, 1581, the Government had resolved that the 
prisons must be cleared, and many of the prisoners 
were released, though under hard conditions. These 
however were offered to Carter, and accepted by 
him on 14 June. By them he undertook " not to 
depart the realm, but to continue within three miles 
of his house in Hart Street, St. Olave's, until he 
conforms unto orders for religion, and comes unto 
divine service established by act of Parliament. . . . 
Also, he shall not admit the access of any Jesuit, 
massing priest or seminary priest, or recusant, or 
keep any Catholic servant or partner." He had also 
to provide for the observance of these conditions, 
besides one surety, a bond of 100 marks (;^66), a very 
large sum for a tradesman in those days, and it was 
eventually forfeited. 

Carter's last period of freedom lasted for a year. 
He seems to have printed no more, the danger was 
too great. But he traded in books, of which he 
evidently had good store. 

In July, 1582, however, on what suspicion is not 
known, his house was again searched, this time 
by the brutal Topcliffe assisted by the pursuivants 
Payne and Morris, and they found vestments, crosses, 
chalices and other unmistakable proofs of Catholi- 
cism, With these wer^ seized a copy of Campion's 


Disputations in the Tower, written by some Catholic. 
which the Catholics intended to have published as 
we see from the colophon of Vallenger's tract about 
Campion's death. This MS. is now in the British 
Museum (Harleian, 422) and bears a signed note by 
Carter himself, the only specimen of his signature 
we possess, that he had received it from *' Whiting 
of Lancashire". At the same time iHarpsfield's 
Treatise of the Divorce, will also have been taken by 
Topcliffe, asi appears from the note in the extant 

Carter was carried off to court, examined, and 
sent to the Tower, and at this most critical juncture 
his cause was fatally injured by the rascality of one 
of Walsingham's spies, who is only known to us 
under the initials P. H. W. He was evidently a 
gentleman, probably of an old Catholic family 
(Father Morris believed him to be one of the Tich- 
burnes), who was freely received by Catholics all 
over the country, and who had known Carter for 
twenty years. He met Carter's wife Jane, distracted 
by grief, and it did not need much finesse on his part 
to get out her story. She was going to court to try 
and obtain the intercession of Lord Lumley, who 
was a Catholic, though in practice not very regular. 
The Mass-furniture which had been seized was, said 
Mrs. Carter, really his, and had been left by some 
of my Lord's gentlemen. P. H. W. posted the news 
off to Walsingham, adding that it showed Carter was 

^ Nicholas Harpsfield, Treatise of the Pretended Divorce, ed. 
Pocock (Camden Soc. 1878), p. 4. On Carter's books see also 
hi$ mother Agnes Carter's letter, C.R.S. y. 39. 


trusted and employed by Catholics of the highest 
class, and that the secrets and confidences reposed 
in him, should be " ripped to the bottom ". The 
poor victim was thereupon racked with barbarous 
severity, but would not betray anyone : " Though 
nearly killed," wrote a fellow-prisoner, *' nothing 
could be drawn from him but the name of Jesus ". 

Nevertheless "the end was not yet". He was 
kept lingering on in the Tower for eighteen months. 
His wife died, his family were in great want, but the 
martyr's courage did not fail. We do not know why 
he was eventually tried and executed. But at the 
beginning of 1584 the blood-lust was getting very 
fierce, and some one, perhaps Norton, suggested an 
extraordinary interpretation to be put upon Gregory 
Martin's book, which Carter confessed he had printed 
some years before. 

The prisoner was accordingly removed to Newgate, 
passing by his house on Tower Hill as he went (unless 
sent by water) and on 10 January, 1584, he was 
brought up for trial at the Justice Hall. On the 
bench were Anderson, Lord Chief Justice of Common 
Pleas, Chief Baron Shutte, Dr, Aylmer, Bishop of 
London, and the Recorder Fleetwood. The charge 
preferred was that the Book of Schism, which he had 
printed, exhorted Englishwomen to follow the ex- 
ample of Judith, and to cut off Elizabeth's head, as 
Judith had cut off that of Holofernes. To this Carter 
pleaded Not Guilty. 

The case for the prosecution was opened by Thomas 
Norton, a London lawyer, who had had a long ex- 
perience in examining Catholic prisoners, sometimes 


under torture. He was a fierce Puritan and a strong 
advocate in Parliament of repressive measures against 
the Catholics. Beginning with a digression over the 
excommunication of Elizabeth by Pope Pius V, he 
then treated of the plots imputed to other Catholics, 
thanking God that Elizabeth had escaped all the 
conspiracies laid against her. And so in time he 
came to the main point, to understand which we 
must turn to Gregory Martin's book itself. 

The second chapter of The Treatise of Schism con- 
tained arguments against going to heretical services, 
taken from the zeal of the Patriarchs and Israelites 
of old against being contaminated by the idolatrous 
rites of the heathens, who lived around them. After 
mentioning other Old Testament heroes, the author 
came to Judith, and he wrote, not very lucidly per- 
haps, but intelligibly enough, and in accordance with 
the taste of the day, which loved the introduction of 
historical allusions : — 

" Judith followeth, whose godly and constant wis- 
dom, if our Catholic gentlewomen would follow, they 
might destroy Holofernes, the master heretic, and 
amaze all his retinue and never defile their religion 
by communicating with them in any small point. 
She came to please Holofernes, but yet in her religion 
she would not yield so much as to eat of his meats, 
but brought her own with her, and told him plainly, 
that being in his house she must serve her Lord and 
God, still desiring for that purpose liberty to go in 
and out of the gate, ' I may not eat of that thou com- 
mandest me lest I incur God's displeasure ' " (Sig. 
D. ii.). 


From this Norton quoted the first sentence : " Judith 
followeth, whose godly and constant wisdom, if our 
Catholic gentlewomen would follow, they might de- 
stroy Holofernes, the master heretic ". The words 
** master heretic " must, he said, mean Elizabeth, and 
the exhortation to the Catholic gentlewomen must 
mean that they were to assassinate her. The only 
alternative sense was, that by Holofernes was under- 
stood, not Elizabeth, but the demon of schism. Yet 
who had ever heard of the devil's head being cut off? 
Such shifts were too transparent. It followed then 
that Carter was guilty of a direct incitement to murder 
the Queen. 

Carter began his defence, protesting that he had 
never suspected any such construction. He pointed 
out that Judith was praised not solely for having cut 
off the head of Holofernes, but also for her courageous 
abstention from all contaminating intercourse with 
the Assyrians, whether in eating or praying, and that 
this abstention of hers had been the secret of her 
victory. Surely it was evident that in a book written 
to induce Catholics to abstain from heretical service, 
this part of the example was that to which attention 
was drawn. The context pointed to the same conclu- 
sion. The stories of Jeroboam, of Elias, of Eliseus, 
of Osee, of Amos, and that of Tobias being touched 
upon only in so far as they concerned abstention from 
idolatrous service. Again, the terms of the descrip- 
tion of Holofernes plainly showed that Elizabeth 
could not have been intended ; Holofernes being no 
sovereign, but a general, and Judith being not his 
subject, but his foe. Then it is said, that Judith 


would '' amaze all his retinue," i.e. that of Holofernes. 
" But who can help seeing that the assassination of 
the Queen would scandalize honest men more than 

Norton made a short speech in answer, and then 
Dr. Aylmer, Bishop of London, hypocritically assert- 
ing that he did not aim at Carter's death, declared 
that the prisoner " had always been involved in con- 
spiracies ". '* In my position of Commissioner in 
Ecclesiastical Courts I have every year, for the last 
seven, come to the knowledge of at least twenty 
crimes of his similar to this." He then related many 
incidents, of Carter's life as a Catholic, and concluded 
by denouncing him hotly to the jury. 

Carter now tried to speak again, but was interrupted 
by the Attorney-General, who was also on the Bench, 
with the remark that the book was written by a 
traitor (Dr. Gregory Martin), approved by a traitor 
(Dr. afterwards Cardinal Allen) and addressed to 
traitors (the English Catholics). Again Carter tried 
to answer, but the Recorder interjected, that he had 
heard of devils casting themselves into the sea but 
never of their having been beheaded. 

After they had spoken the martyr saw clearly that 
his case was, from a human point of view, hopeless. 
He could but say, " Well, God have mercy on me, I 
see what the end will be ". 

In strong contrast with the martyr's resignation 
was the peevish impatience of the Court. The Chief 
Baron, the Master of the Rolls, and Chief Justice 
Anderson, successively urged his guilt. Upon con- 
cluding. Carter, called upon to say what he could in 


his defence, only answered : *' My Lord, your speech 
was rather a sentence than a summing up, and has, 
it seems, quickened the Jury's desire to condemn me. 
I accept whatever decision God permits them to 
arrive at. The day is nigh, when we shall all appear 
before His tribunal to give an account of this action 
as of all others." " Come, come, my good man," 
broke in the Recorder, " you are not here to preach," 
and with that the jury were dismissed to find their 
verdict. The interval was spent by Carter in con- 
fessing his sins to a priest, who stood also at the bar, 
awaiting a similar fate. After a quarter of an hour 
the jury returned with a verdict of guilty. Sentence, 
as in cases of high treason, was pronounced, and it 
was put into execution the following day. 

Though the last scene in this tragedy is not re- 
corded in detail, we may easily reconstruct its main 
features from the story of other martyrs. He went 
cheerfully to his death and was hanged, and then 
cruelly disembowelled on 11 January, 1584 (N.S.). 

Besides the glory due to his heroic confession of 
the faith, and martyr's death, Carter comes before 
us as most honourably distinguished by his devotion 
to the dissemination of Catholic books. Some he 
copied with his own hand. He printed others, and 
he continued to do so, even after his first press was 
seized. His courage and constancy in printing came 
out on the trial, though the Latin report of it, which 
has come down to us, is somewhat obscure in its 
details. The press, it seems, was extremely small, 
showing that there was great danger of discovery ; 
and he could only get enough type to print a page or 


SO at a time, so that much perseverance was needed 
before the book could be finished. Neither imprison- 
ment nor fine can keep him from his work, which he 
felt was a duty to God. He always returns to it, yet 
he does not run the risk of actually printing, after he 
is sure that the danger is too great. His reliability is 
amply proved by Dr. Harpsfield giving him his books 
to print, or to keep ; while Lord Lumley's gentlemen 
trust him with the perilous task of guarding vest- 
ments, chalices, and the like, and however much 
tortured he will betray no names. 

J. H. P., SJ. 

Authorities. — The chief authority is Bridgewater, Concer- 
tatio, ed. 1588 (ff. 127-133), repeated by Yepez. The Catholic 
Record Society prints the Prison lists and Tower bills, i. 60, 65 ; 
iii. 15, and other pieces ; iv. 74 ; v. 8, 30, 39; Strype, Annals^ 
ii. 588. See also Allen, Ad Persecutores Anglos in the Concer- 
tatio, ff. 295-6 ; Wood, A thence Oxonienses (under Harpsfield and 
Martin) ; Challoner ; Stow's Annals ; Timperley, Encyclopedia 
of Literary and Typographical Anecdote ; Ames, Typographical 
Antiquities ; Bibliographical Society's Dictionary of Printers 
and Booksellers^ 1557-1640 ; Lingard, History of England^ vi. 
note P. Short accounts will also be found in D.N.B. (where, 
however, the point of the indictment is missed), and Gillow's Bidl. 
Diet. Eng. Cath. 

Further Note on the Book for which Carter Died. 

The passage quoted in the indictment proves conclusively that 
the volume was Gregory Martin's tract, A Treatise of Schisme 
showing that all Catholics ought in anywise to abstain altogether 
from heretical Conventicles^ viz. their Prayers^ Sermons^ dr*c. 
(Duaci apud Joannem Foulerum, 1578), and not Father Persons 
tract, published under the name of Howlet in 1580, Reasons why 
Catholiques refuse to go to Churche, which has the running title 



of A Treatise of Schism. This has misled A. h. Wood (under 
Persons), Gillow and others. 

As to the date of Carter's edition: It cannot be 1580 (as 
Gillow, Wood, etc.), for he was in prison all that year, and only 
freed in June, 1581. In his defence, f. i2,od (but this, of course, 
was not revised by the speaker), he speaks of " three full years " 
{totum trienniurn) having passed since he confessed to having 
printed it. This would take us back to January, 1581, when he 
was in the Gatehouse, having been there since December, 1579 ; 
and the print must have been done before that. This is sup- 
ported by his strong denial (f. 132 «, b\ of having "printed 
them again since my imprisonment, or that I then had a press ". 

No difference in the editions of Martin's Treatise of Schism 
has yet been noted by bibliographists. All seem to be marked 
— apud Joannem Foulerum, 1578. The copies which I have ex- 
amined, at Stonyhurst and the British Museum, are identical, and 
not on the very small frame described by Norton, Concertatio, 
f. 130. The paper mark is a mullet of six points over two 
circles in pale. This I think is a foreign mark, and therefore 
that these copies do come from Antwerp. Carter's edition pre- 
sumably reproduced the old date and printer's name and re- 
printed Fowler's copy, page by page. But he probably used 
English pot paper — and a very small frame, so that the signatures 
should be different from Fowler's, who numbers A to L. It 
would be extremely interesting to identify a copy from Carter's 

It may also be mentioned that Belleforest's book in defence of 
Mary Stuart was put together from an earlier recension, to which 
Dr. Harpsfield contributed. This was in 1 569 and the Doctor 
was then, it seems, out of the Tower (Murdin, State Papers, 
1759, PP- 29, 122). Carter, as Harpsfield's amanuensis, may 
therefore have had something to do with the preliminaries to 
Belleforest's work. He may also have had something to do with 
the second edition of the Dialogi sex, Louvain, 1573, as he 
signed a petition at that place and date, now in the Vatican 
(6405, f 154). 



Tyburn, 12 February, 1584. 

Evan Haydock, of Cottam Hall, Preston, Lancashire, 
by his wife Helen, daughter of William Westby, of 
Mowbreck Hall, had at least three sons, and one 
only daughter. His wife died in November, 1558, 
on the day that the news of Queen Mary's death 
reached Cottam. She had been ill for some time 
previously. It is said that she "raised herself with 
one arm, and, pointing to the motto under the Hay- 
dock arms embroidered on the arras at the foot of 
the bed, slowly pronounced the words, Tristitia vestra 
vertetur in gaudium, and suddenly clasping the baby 
at her side, she fell a corpse into her husband's 
arms ".^ His eldest son William married Bridget, 

^ This account is reprinted from the writer's pamphlet, Ven. 
George Haydock, published by the Catholic Truth Society. 

^ Among the names of Lancashire recusants remaining at 
liberty in 1592 are those of "William Haddock, of Cottam, 
gent.," and " Evans Hadock, of Cottam, gent." (" Cal. Cecil 
MSS." iv. 265-6), The latter is probably a second son, others 
wise unknown, 



half-sister of Thomas Hoghton, of Hoghton Tower, 
and the only child of Sir Richard Hoghton's third 
marriage (to Elizabeth, daughter of John Gregson, 
or Normanton, of Yorkshire). He lived to a great 
age, and was still paying his fines for recusancy in 

The only daughter, Aloysia, was imprisoned in 
Salford Jail in 1584, and died in consequence of the 
ill-treatment she received there. 

The second or third son, Richard, became an 
eminent doctor of divinity, and died at Rome in 

The youngest son, George, the future martyr, is 
described as aged twenty-two on 23 April, 1579, ^^^ 
as aged twenty-eight on 12 February, 1583-4 ; and so 
was probably born in 1556. 

Evan Haydock himself went to Douay in 1573 
with his son Richard, and both matriculated at the 
University there. Having been ordained priest, he 
left for the mission on 21 November, 1575. He 
passed through Douay on the following 6 February, 
on his way to Arras, and probably on this occasion 
brought his son George with him. In 1581 he be- 
came procurator for Douay College in England. He 
died on All Saints' Day in that year at Mowbreck 
Hall, in consequence of the shock he received, it is 
said, when on the point of beginning a midnight 
Mass. The story goes that on the stroke of twelve, 
as he stood vested for Mass at the foot of the altar, 
he had a vision of the head of his son George, drip- 
ping with blood, rising above the altar, and seemed 
to bear the familiar words of the family motto issuing 



from its gory lips. This is a very odd story ; for, 
though reported appearances at or after death are 
comparatively common, George was not martyred 
till two years, two months, and twelve days after- 
wards. " Even yet the country people say that 
on the eve of All Hallows ' the gory head ' still 
appears over the altar in the old chapel at Mow- 
breck Hall." Dr. Richard Haydock claimed his 
father's body, and buried it under the chapel at 
Cottam Hall. 

George Haydock says he was at Douay four years ; 
and so either he came there with his father and 
brother in 1573 (in which case he would seem to 
have been there nearly five years), or else his father 
brought him there on St. Dorothy's Day, 1575-6, 
as suggested above (in which case he was there a 
little over three years in all probability). At any 
rate, the first notice of him in the Douay Diaries is 
his readmission to the College in June, 1577, prob- 
ably after a short visit to England. In 1578, having 
finished his course in grammar, he was sent to Rome 
to join the new English College there, and begin the 
study of dialectic or logic. In February, 1579, ^^ ^^^ 
his brother were among those who petitioned Gio- 
vanni Moroni, the Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and 
Velletri, and Protector of England, that the College 
should be put under the control of the Society of 
Jesus. This petition was granted, and on 23 April, 
1579, Monsignor Cesare Speciani, a Milanese, Secre- 
tary of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops, after- 
wards Bishop successively of Novara and Cremona 
acting for the Cardinal-Protector (who died i De- 


cember, 1580, aged seventy-two), together with the 
Jesuit Provincial, Father Giovanni Cola, SJ^, and the 
famous theologian (afterwards Cardinal) Robert Bel- 
larmine, S.J., solemnly administered to each of the 
forty-eight students then in residence (Richard and 
George Haydock being among the number), an oath 
that they would lead the lives of ecclesiastics and go to 
labour in England whensoever their superiors should 
send them there. At Rome George was ordained 
deacon, but in the summer of 1581, having ''made " 
his logic and philosophy, and having already em- 
barked on his theology, he visited the Seven Churches 
of Rome ^ (probably in the company of the President 
of the College, Father Alfonso Agazario, S.J., the 
Earl of Westmorland, and others), and took a chill, 
which developed into a fever, and left him almost at 
death's door. " From this illness," says the writer 
in the Concertatio Ecclesice, ** he recovered, it is 
true, but only thenceforward to waste slowly but 
continuously away, and to become less and less 
capable of pursuing his accustomed studies." 

He was probably never very strong (Father Hart, 
in a letter from the Tower, dated 15 November, 1582, 
describes him as *' corpore pusillo et statura exigua "), 
so, as he was unable to recover his strength, the 
doctors recommended him to try a cooler climate, 
and it was arranged he should go to Rheims. Ac- 
cordingly early in September, 1581, he left Rome in 

^ St. Peter on the Vatican ; St. Paul outside the walls ; St. 
Sebastian outside the walls ; St. John Lateran ; the Holy Cross 
in Jerusalem ; St. Lawrence outside the walls ; and St. Mary 


the company of three priests, William Bishop,^ 
William Smith, and Humphrey Maxfield, and one 
student, Isaac Higgins. Before starting, they went 
to kiss the feet of Pope Gregory XIII, who received 
them most graciously, and supplied them, as his own 
" alumni," with funds for their journey. They seem 
to have gone from Rome to Ancona, where they took 
ship for Venice. On the voyage George Haydock 
was seasick and " threw up a great quantity of fecu- 
lent clotted blood," as the Concertatio tells us, 
and this he regarded as " cutting to the roots of his 
disease ". We are not told how he crossed the Alps, 
whether by the Brenner, the Spliigen, or the St. 
Gothard, but we know that " the air in the regions 
north of the Alps" especially suited him, and com- 
pleted his convalescence. 

The journey cannot have taken very long, for he 
arrived at Rheims on 2 November. There he heard 
of his father's death, and on 28 November wrote 
to Father Agazario a letter (printed C.R.S. v. 21), 
which asks for prayers for his soul. He was ordained 
priest at Rheims, 21 December, 1581, and left for the 
English Mission, Tuesday, 16 January, 1581-2. He 
landed at London after nightfall, and having sought 
in vain for a lodging in Holborn, apparently found 
one in the neighbourhood of St. Paul's Churchyard. 
The next day he went to see Mr. John Towneley, of 
Towneley Hall, Lancashire, then in prison in the 
Gatehouse, and his cousin,^ Mr. WilHam Hesketh, 

^ Afterwards Bishop of Chalcedon. See Did. Nat. Biog. v. 96. 
^ Concertatio. William Hesketh, whose mother was a 
Westby, married Cardinal Allen's sister Elizabeth. 


of Poulton, Lancashire, then in prison in the Fleet. 
Shortly afterwards he paid a third visit, which was 
the immediate cause of his arrest. One Hawkinson, 
a native of the same part of Lancashire, had been of 
assistance to him by counsel and service when he was 
purposing to set out for Flanders (i.e. probably in 
1577). He had been at that time a Catholic, and 
even at this very moment his sister Elizabeth was in 
Salford Jail as a recusant. Nothing could be more 
natural, then, than that George Haydock should visit 
him as an old friend, partly to thank him for the ser- 
vices he had rendered, and partly to tell him all that 
had happened since they last met. In the meantime, 
however, Hawkinson had apostatized, and so he ar- 
ranged with two pursuivants, Norton and Sledd, that 
they should arrest the priest as he left Hawkinson's 
house. This they accordingly did, either on Sunday, 
4 February, or on Tuesday, 6 February, 1581-2.^ 
On his arrest, they took him into St. Paul's, and sum- 
moned a Protestant minister to argue with him, tell- 
ing him that if he would renounce the Pope they 
would set him free. On his refusal they took him 
" to the house at which he was accustomed to take 
his meals," where they found another priest, Mr. 
Arthur Pitts, at dinner, and with him a law-student, 
Mr. William Jenneson. Sledd (who had been a ser- 
vant to Dr. Nicholas Morton when the latter resided 
at the English College, Rome), recognized Pitts, and 
arrested both him and Jenneson. Thereupon all 

^ The Tower Bills state that he was committed to the Tower 
on the Si\i{C.R.S. iii. 12); on the other hand, the Concertatio 
says he was arrested on the 6th. 


three were taken to appear before Sir John Popham, 
the Attorney-General. They had to wait nearly an 
hour before Popham arrived, and the interval was 
taken up by a keen disputation on religion between 
the two priests and a number of law-students of the 
Temple, who gathered round as the news of the cap- 
ture spread. On this occasion George Haydock 
showed great zeal in the profession of his faith, and 
rare modesty in the way in which he deferred to Mr. 
Pitts as his senior in years and superior in learning. 
On Popham's arrival Haydock was subjected to an 
examination, some account of which he himself drew 
up. It survives in a document of Father Grene's, 
now in Jesuit archives abroad (printed C.R.S, v. 
57), and in a Latin translation in the Concertatio. 
In printing the document of Father Grene, Father 
Pollen has supplied in square brackets some of the 
passages omitted by Father Grene and some variant 
readings. He has omitted nothing of the smallest 
importance, except that Haydock, in the Concer- 
tatio, calls William Hesketh his cousin, as has been 
pointed out above. 

When their examination was finished all three 
prisoners were taken to the Gatehouse, where Jenne- 
son remained until he was discharged on 5 or 10 
September following. The two priests, however, 
were brought before the Lord High Treasurer, Cecil, 
in the Star Chamber, and by him committed to the 

At his arrest George Haydock had £y in gold about 
him. Of this he gave two angels (i.e. £1) to Norris 
in St. Paul's, on the understanding that he would be 


set free. When he was committed to the Gatehouse 
he gave Norris a noble (i.e. 6s. 8d.) as his fee. He 
thus retained £5 13s. 4d. when he was sent from the 
Star Chamber to the Tower. "Thither he was 
brought with a great parade of escort and much 
noise, as is the custom, that people from all sides 
should come to look on him, as his country's common 
foe : but the saint departed from the presence of the 
council rejoicing, and in face and bearing, showed such 
gladness and joyousness that the faithless who gazed 
on him wending his way made much ado, being filled 
with malice at the spectacle of the unshaken con- 
stancy of the good priest's soul. Among the scoffers 
was Sir William George, knight, then in command 
of the gate-warders and garrison, who when he saw 
Christ's eager martyr drawing nigh to the Tower, 
turned to fury, and incontinently pointed him out to 
the watch and the other gate-warders that surrounded 
him, exclaiming * Look at the trickster, how proudly 
and arrogantly he struts ! ' " 

While the escort was being got ready and the pro- 
cession formed, Norris, who was aware of the sum of 
money still in the prisoner's possession, having caught 
a glimpse of it when his blackmail was being paid, 
slipped round to Sir Owen Hopton, then Lieutenant 
of the Tower, and claimed it as due to him, hoping 
thus to get a percentage, at any rate, of the spoils. 
Accordingly on his arrival at the Tower the first 
thing that Haydock had to do was to give up all the 
money he had to the Lieutenant, on the pretence 
that it was due to Norris, and of the total sum of 
;^5 13s. 4d. only £1 was eventually restored to him. 


How Hopton and Norris shared the £^ 13s. 4d. we 
do not know. The author of the Hfe in the Con- 
certatio is convinced that the former got the lion's 
share ; but if Norris merely got the jackal's 13s. 4d., 
he would have had no cause to complain, as he would 
have netted £2 as against Hopton's £^. 

For a year and three months, i.e. until May, 1583, 
George Haydock was kept in a narrow cell in an out- 
of-the-way part of the Tower, and access to him was 
for the most part strictly forbidden. On one occasion, 
however, a priest managed to obtain admission to 
his cell by a ruse, and gave him Holy Communion. 
On another occasion, as the Annals of the English 
College at Rome record, ** a Protestant minister 
came to dispute with him, and finding, after a lengthy 
discussion, that he made no way, asked him in a fit 
of rage whether or not the Queen was the head of 
the English Church. * By what authority,' replied 
the priest, ' do you ask me this question ? It must 
be remembered that, as this question involves danger 
of goods and life, none may put it unless under war- 
rant from the Crown.' The minister answered, * Were 
you a true servant of Christ, you would surely not 
inquire as to my authority, but would make open 
profession of your belief before everybody '. ' Do you, 
heretic as you are,' replied the priest, * reproach me 
with cowardice in the cause of God ? I believe that 
the Queen neither is, nor can be, the head of the 
English Church.' The minister asked, ' Who then ? ' 
' The Roman Pontiff,' replied the other. ' Traitor ! ' 
exclaimed the minister ; * you dare to say as much, 
because there are no fit witnesses to convict you of 


your saying.' ' Not so,' rejoined the priest, * but to 
make confession of my faith.' ' If so,' said the 
minister, ' put down in writing what you have said 
just now.' ' But,' said the priest, * I have neither 
ink nor paper, yet will I gratify you to the best of 
my power,' and taking a piece of charcoal he wrote 
as follows on the door of his cell : * Gregory XIII is 
head of the English and of the Universal Church, to 
whom the whole world must be subject if it would be 
saved '. He thus confounded the minister, and so 
impressed his gaoler that he was less opposed than 
heretofore to the Catholic religion." 

The Concertatio does not mention the visit of the 
minister, but probably alludes to the same incident 
in these words : " When he was in solitary confine- 
ment and no one could approach him, it gave him 
pleasure to write or scratch on the walls the name 
and insignia of the Roman Pontiff. On one occasion 
when he had drawn them in a conspicuous place on 
the wall, and had written below ' Gregory XIII, on 
earth supreme head of the whole Catholic Church,' 
the warder told him to rub it out, but he refused, 
saying that for this truth he would gladly shed his 

Soon after his imprisonment he had a recurrence 
of the malarial fever which he had contracted at 
Rome, ** and such was the force of the pricking pains, 
which he often felt all over his body, but especially 
in the chest, the abdomen, the left shoulder, and the 
hip-joint, that the intensity of the pain would make 
him sweat for a whole hour afterwards ". 

About May, 1583, George Haydock was removed 

44 LIVES OF English martyrs 

to less strict confinement in the Tower, and was able 
to administer the Sacraments of the Church to his 
fellow-prisoners. The charge for his keep made in 
the Tower Bills does not, however, vary, but through- 
out his imprisonment is put at £4 13s. 4d. a week 
for his own diet, etc., 5s. a week for his keeper, and 
4s. a week for fuel and candle. 

Early in January, 1583-4, the authorities thought 
it good to subject the priests then in prison to a 
preliminary examination, with a view of selecting 
some among their number for execution in the im- 
mediate future. Accordingly on the i8th Haydock 
and other priests from the Tower were brought to 
the Guildhall to appear before the Recorder of 
London, Sir William Fleetwood. The order in 
which they should appear was not settled by the 
Recorder, and Haydock volunteered to be the first. 
Fleetwood, whose family, as Mr. Gillow has pointed 
out, had good reason to detest any relative of the 
Allen family, on the principle proprium humani ingenii 
odisse quern laeseris, '' received him in his customary 
froward manner with torrents of abuse, and uttered 
many taunts unworthy of repetition here. In his 
replies he [Haydock] showed that he attached little 
weight to the disordered motions of a troubled brain. 
Fleetwood, regarding this as an insult, became white- 
hot with rage, and raised his fist to strike the prisoner, 
who exclaimed, ' Use your right, for I will gladly 
suffer anything for the Catholic faith '. Seeing his 
constancy they determined to make away with him, 
and promptly put the cut-throat questions : what he 
thought of the Pope and what of the Queen ; what 


authority should, in his opinion, be granted to the 
one and what to the other? To these Christ's holy 
martyr fearlessly replied, in set phrases, that the 
Roman Pontiff had full and complete power to govern 
Christ's universal Church on earth, that the Queen 
was incompetent to hold this priestly dignity and 
authority, and that that holy office could not in 
any case be executed by a woman. Next, wishing to 
increase the odium and prejudice against him (at 
any rate in the breasts of the rulers of the world 
of this darkness), they pressed him with question 
after question, until at last they induced him (much 
against his will, as he afterwards candidly confessed), 
to say that the Queen was a heretic and in danger 
of eternal damnation, unless she repented." 

On leaving the court, he returned to the room 
where the other priests were waiting their turn to be 
examined, and close to the door found " his spiritual 
father, a learned, grave, and venerable man," to 
whom with clear voice and tranquil mien he said, 
"Come, father, be of good cheer; it is all over ".^ 
Later on, when all the priests had been examined, 
and were on their way back to the Tower, George 
Haydock expressed his joy that they had been 
examined as to the prerogatives of the successor of 
St. Peter, on the very day that the festival of the 
Chair of St. Peter at Rome was being kept through- 
out the whole Catholic Church. To understand this 
statement, we must remember that Paul IV, in a 

1 As we shall see later, George Haydock, on the eve of his 
martyrdom, gave his breviary to Richard Creagh, Archbishop of 
Armagh. It is not, therefore, unlikely th^t the Archbishop w^^ 
his confessor, 


Bull of the year 1558, complained that although the 
feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome was celebrated 
in France and Spain, it was forgotten in Rome it- 
self, although the feast of his chair at Antioch was 
kept in Rome. Accordingly he ordered that the 
feast of St. Peter's Church in Rome should be 
observed on January 1 8th. George Haydock often 
said, we are told by the writer in the Concertatio, 
that if he had been given his choice as to the article 
of Catholic doctrine for which he should die, he 
would have selected the dogma of the supremacy of 
the Apostolic see. 

On 5 February, 1583-4, he was indicted, with 
James Fenn and seven other priests, for having 
conspired against the Queen at Rheims, 23 Septem- 
ber, 1581, and for agreeing to come to England on 
I October, and for setting out for England on 
I November. The absurdity of the accusation has 
been pointed out by Father Pollen. On the next day 
he and Fenn and three fellow-martyrs, whose in- 
dictments were equally erroneous, were brought 
before the Queen's Bench at Westminster. George 
Haydock had long ago chosen St. Dorothy as his 
patron, and was accustomed to commend himself 
and his actions day by day to her guidance. He 
therefore regarded it as of so happy an augury that 
he should be brought to the bar on her day, " that 
he made a note of it in the calendar of his breviary, 
which, on the eve of his departure from the prison of 
his body and soul, he presented to the venerable 
Archbishop of Armagh, then also a prisoner of Jesus 
Christ", On his appearance at the bar, George 


Haydock, though not, so far as we know, a member 
of the Society of Jesus, "was in Jesuit's weed". 
" So grave a man," says an eye-witness, "as ever I 
sett my eyes upon, he wore a coate of black very 
low and upon the same a cloke of black downe almost 
to the grounde. He had in his hand a black staff 
and upon his head a velvet coyfe, and there upon a 
broade seemly black felt." He pleaded Not Guilty. 
The next day the jury found all the five priests 
Guilty, and they were sentenced to death ; but, 
whereas the other four were committed in shackles 
to the " pit " in the Tower, George Haydock, prob- 
ably because his health was such that it was thought 
he was unlikely to outlive the rigours of that pesti- 
lential dungeon, went back to his old quarters. 

In the course of the week a rumour spread that 
the Queen had changed her mind and reprieved the 
prisoners. George Haydock heard of it from some 
friends, who came to congratulate him. He, how- 
ever, was bitterly disappointed, until his confessor 
knowing " his deep thirst for martyrdom, bade him 
be of good cheer, for that there was no surer sign 
that his life would shortly be taken than that such 
reports should be circulated," and pointed out that 
a precisely similar rumour had spread just before 
Blessed John Shert and his companions had been 
put to death. It was, he said, a very common ruse 
of the Government to throw dust into the eyes of the 
people and induce them to believe that the Queen 
was inherently gentle and averse from bloodshed, and 
that the cruel and barbarous executions which so fre- 
quently took place w§re contrary to her personal wishes, 


On 10 February, a precept was addressed to the 
Lieutenant of the Tower to hand over the bodies of 
the five priests for execution on the 12th. 

On the 12th, " Wednesday, being the last day of 
the Terme," George Haydock offered the Holy Sacri- 
fice very early in the morning, and later the " five 
priests were drawn from the Tower to Tyborne upon 
hurdles. The first that was brought into the cart 
under the gibbet was Mr. Haddock, a man of com- 
plexion fayre, of countenance milde, and in professing 
of his faith passing stoute." He mounted the cart 
with great alacrity, and " so standing, put as it were 
a colophon to the prayers on which he had been 
intent all the way by saying aloud " the last verse 
of Te lucis ante terminum. John Spencer, one of the 
sheriffs, and certain ministers then bade Haydock 
confess his treason " and ask the Queen forgivenesse. 
Whereupon Mr. Haddock, calling God to witnesse, 
protested upon his soule that he was not guilty of 
the treason, and therefore would not aske the Queen 
forgivenesse : and further sayd, ' I take her for my 
lawful Queen, I have seyd this morning these many 
paternosters for her, and I pray God she may raigne 
long Queene. If I had her in the wildernesse I would 
not for all the world putt a pinn towards her with 
intent to hurt her.' Then seyd the Sherif Spenser, 
* There is since thy arrainment worse matter found 
against thee ' [by Munday the spy]. Whereunto 
answered Mr. Haddock, ' You have found nothing 
since ; and soe belyke I was wrongly arrained '. Then 
Antony Munday was brought in, who uttered these 
speeches, ' Upon a time you ^nd I with another 



whose name I have forgotten, walking together at 
Rome, the other wished the harts ^ of 3 of the nobility 
being of her counsell. Whereupon you sayd, Mr. 
Haddock, ' To make up a masse,^ I would we had 
the hart of the Queen '. Then sayd Spenser and other 
of his officers, ' Away with the villaine traytor '. But 
Mr. Haddock, moved ^ with these foresaid talke and 
speeches sayd as followeth : ' I am presently to give 
an account [of all that I have done during life before 
the tribunal of God] ; and as before God I shal 
answer, I never spake nor intended such thing. And, 
Munday, if thou didst heare me speak any such thing, 
how chanced it thou camest not to the barre to give 
this in against me upon thy othe ? ' ' Why,' sayd 
Munday, ' I never heard of your arraignement.' Then 
said Spenser, ' Didst not thou call the Queen here- 
tick ? ' * I confesse,' sayd Haddock, ' I did.' Where- 
upon Spenser together with the ministers and other 
of his officers used the aforesaid speeches of treason, 
traytor, and villaine. Mr. Haddock sayd secretly a 
hymne in latin, and that within my hearing, for I 
stood under the gibbet. A minister being on the 
cart with him requested him to pray in English that 
the people might pray with him. Where upon Mr. 
Haddock put the minister away with his hand, say- 

1 Concertatio reads heads for harts, and head for hart in the 
next line. 

^ " Mass " is here a gaming term, meaning a mass of money, 
a pool, a sweepstake. The Concertatio translates by " tessera " 
probably meaning " a square sum," though this meaning is 
neither classical nor recognized by Du Cange. 

^ Concertatio reads unmoved. 



ing, * Away, away, I wil have nothing to doe with 
thee '. But he requested all Catholics to pray with 
him and for his country. Where upon sayd one of 
the standers-by, ' Here be noe Catholicks ' : * Yes,' 
sayd another, ' we be all Catholics '. Then sayd Mr. 
Haddock, ' I mean Catholicks of the Catholick Roman 
Church, and I pray God that my bloud may increase 
the Catholick faith in England ' : whereunto sayd 
Spenser : ' The Catholic faith, the devil's faith. Away 
with the traytor ! Drive away the carte ! ' And so 
Mr. Haddock ended his life, as constantly as could 
be required. 

"When the cart was dryven away, this Spenser 
presently commanded the rope to be cut, but not- 
withstanding the officer strock at the rope sundry 
times before he felldowne; and the reporte of them that 
stoode by the block was that at what time the tor- 
menter was in puUing out his bowells, Mr. Haddock 
was in life. By his own confession he was 28 yeares 
of age." 

" One of his relatives, probably William Hesketh," 
says Mr. Gillow, " obtained possession of the martyr's 
head, which was preserved by the family in the chapel 
at Cottam until the estate passed into other hands. 
The skull, which was taken to Mawdesley at that 
time, and is still there in the possession of the Finch 
family, is generally said to be that of this martyr, 
but, from its older appearance, the late Bishop Goss 
formed the opinion that it was the skull of the 
martyr's relative, the monk of Whalley, known to 
have been preserved at Cottam." 

J. B. W. 


Authorities.— Z^//^r 0/ Dr. Ely to Father Gibbons^ C.R.S. 
V. 141. About George Hay dock and his companions^ ibid. 61. 
Father Warford's Relation., A.E.M. Douay Diaries. Foley, 
Diary of Eng. Coll.., Rome., vi. Diarium Turris. Persons, 
Domesticall Difficulties., C.R.S. ii. 13 1-4. Father Harfs Letter 
from the Tower., C.R.S. iv. 74. Prison Lists., C.R.S. ii. 220, 
225, 228, 230, and Tower Bills ^ ibid. iii. 12, 15. Bridgewater, 
Concertatio. Challoner. G)S\.ovi., Hay dock Papers., ii--},^. 





Tyburn^ 12 February, 1584. 

James Fenn was born in or about the year 1540, 
at the village of Montacute, near Yeovil, in Somerset- 
shire. His elder brothers, John and Robert, had 
both been choristers of Wells Cathedral, and subse- 
quently scholars of Winchester College, and Fellows 
of New College, Oxford, and it was doubtless their 
influence that obtained for their young brother the 
post of chorister at the latter College. As such he 
made his first public appearance on Easter Day, 25 
March, 1554, in New College Chapel. On that 
occasion his singing made a great impression on 
the Fellows of the College, and especially on Dr. 
Nicholas Sander, then Professor of Canon Law in 
the University, and in due time they used their good 
offices to have him accepted as a student in one of the 
other Oxford Colleges, as he was not eligible to a 
New College scholarship, because he had not been 
at Winchester. Eventually, on 31 July, 1554, they 
obtained his admission as a member of the College 
of Corpus Christi, where he endeared himself to all 



by his gentleness and good-humour. On 26 Novem- 
ber, 1558, he became a Scholar or Probationary Fellow 
of the College, and in June or July of the following 
year he had qualified for the degree of Bachelor of 
Arts ; but on presenting himself to take it, " wearing 
the hood of a bachelor, as the custom is," he was 
required by the Vice-Chancellor ^ to take the oath 
of supremacy, whereupon he threw off his hood and 
left the dais, *' declaring he would never be guilty 
of obtaining any temporal honour at the price of 
his eternal salvation". But, "to press the oath of 
supremacy very vigorously would have meant to turn 
out practically all the Heads of Colleges and the 
majority of the Fellows ".^ So later on in the year 
the Privy Council directed that for a time subscrip- 
tion to the oath should not be required from candidates 
for degrees or others in the University of Oxford. 
The suspension of the local operation of an Act of 
Parliament naturally was not of long duration, but 
in the brief interval James Fenn obtained his degree 
on 22 November, 1559. 

A year afterwards, in November, 1560, the oath 
having been again tendered and declined, he was 
expelled from the College and deprived of his degree. 
Thereupon he withdrew to Gloucester Hall, now 
Worcester College. At this time Sir Thomas White, 
the founder of St. John's College, having just pur- 
chased it, had leased it to William Stock, a Fellow 

^ John Warner, M.D., Warden of All Souls, Archdeacon of 
Cleveland, afterwards rewarded for his conformity by the Deanery 
of Winchester. 

"^ Gee's The Elizabethan Clergy^ p. 131. 


of St. John's, for a term of twenty years. Stock was 
a " Church Papist," and was succeeded in 1563 by 
another '* Church Papist," WilHam Palmer, who 
held the office of Principal for a little over a year, 
when Stock came back and remained Principal to the 
end of 1573. It is not known how long James Fenn 
remained there, but probably not more than three or 
four years. When there he acted as tutor to several 
youths, and among them to two sons of a Protestant 
Somersetshire squire, who, in ignorance of the pre- 
vailing tone at Gloucester Hall, had sent his two 
elder boys to be educated there. When their studies 
were completed, or during some vacation, James Fenn 
accompanied them home, and their father on that 
occasion engaged him as tutor to his younger sons. 
Fenn influenced the latter in a Catholic direction so 
long as they remained his pupils, and as one by one 
they became old enough to go up to Oxford, he ac- 
companied them thither and put them in touch 
with the Catholics in residence there. Apparently, 
the father had at first no idea of the Catholic char- 
acter of the tutor whom he had engaged, and, in fact, 
never discovered it till the youngest of his sons had 
gone to Oxford. Then the eldest threw off the mask 
and was promptly disinherited. He, we are told, was 
imprisoned for years for his faith. Another son went 
abroad and was received into the Society of Jesus, in 
which he died some years before the account of our 
martyr given in the Concertatio was written about 
the year 1586, and at that time the other sons were 
all Catholics living in out-of-the-way places, in per^ 
petual fear of arrest and imprisonment, 


One of them met Robert Fenn in London the day 
after James's martyrdom, of which he had been an 
eye-witness, and told him all about it, and the great 
effect it had had in confirming him in the Catholic 

While he was still tutor in Somersetshire, James 
married and had two children : Frances, who saw 
her father dragged to his death and received his last 
blessing, and John, who was probably abroad at the 
time, for from 13 April to 6 May, 1582, he was the 
guest of the English College at Rheims. We do not 
know the after history of either of them. 

In the meantime his father had moved to Wells, 
having, as it would seem, made over his house at 
Montacute to his son on the occasion of his marriage, 
though James did not think fit to occupy it until the 
youngest of his charges should have been prepared 
for Oxford. On one occasion, when on a visit to the 
old man at Wells, James was arrested by the order 
of Gilbert Berkeley, the Protestant bishop, a former 
Augustinian Canon Regular, and the oath of supre- 
macy was tendered to him for the third time. The 
prelate, on his refusing it, was anxious to keep him 
in prison till the Assizes came on, in order to secure 
his conviction under the Statute 5 Eliz. cap. i. 
Under this Act a first conviction for refusing to take 
the oath was punishable as a prcemunire, a second as 
high treason. However, some friendly-disposed per- 
sons pointed out to the bishop that he had been some- 
what high-handed in tendering the oath when no 
occasion had arisen for exacting it, and persuaded 
him to let the prisoner go. 


On relinquishing his post as tutor, James took his 
wife and children to his house at Montacute, which 
is described as " a farm, not in the most populous 
part of the village, but just outside, at the foot of the 
hill in a somewhat retired and unfrequented spot," 
hoping that as it was out of the way they might 
escape molestation there. However, the Vicar of 
Montacute, one Thomas Morley, noticing that ''he 
did not go to Church and the Lord's Supper (so- 
called) on the appointed days ^ with the people," 
threatened to cause proceedings to be taken against 
him under the Act of Uniformity. In the circum- 
stances a prudent and God-fearing relative, who had 
been staying with him,^ persuaded him to leave his 
wife and family and go into hiding. Accordingly he 
wandered about from place to place without fixed 
abode for two months, at the end of which he heard 
of the sudden death of his wife. Thereupon he 
secretly returned home and lived in concealment at 
Montacute, first in his own house and then in that 
of a friend. Such a life could not last long, and so 
" having arranged for his children and household 
affairs," though how we are not told, he again left 
the neighbourhood, and this time went to a friend 
who had "shared his scholastic studies" at Oxford, 
and was " gentle in his birth and illustrious in his 

1 By the visitation articles of Archbishop Grindal, people were 
required to communicate on Ash Wednesday, one of the two 
Sundays before Easter, Whit-Sunday, and Christmas. 

2 Possibly Giles Fenn, gentleman, of Strimshaw, Norfolk, a 
recusant, who was afterwards in prison in the Fleet (P.R.O., S,P. 
Doni. Eliz. cxc. 41 ; C.R.S. ii. 266}. 


religion ". This was William Phelips or Phelps, of 
Somersetshire, who went to Corpus Christi just a 
year before James had become a chorister at New 
College, and having been elected a Probationary 
Fellow on 16 April, 1557, took the degree of M.A. 
in 1561-62. There can, I think, be little doubt that 
he was a younger brother of Thomas Phelips, Esq., 
of Montacute House, the father of the well-known 
Sir Edward Phelips.^ He received our martyr with 
great honour, but could not keep him more than a 
few days. One day, as the latter '* walked abroad a 
little space to take the pleasant air, or, it may be, to 
meditate, it chanced that about the same time a man 
of great name and authority in that county rode forth 
on horseback for diversion with some servants in 
attendance, and, catching sight of the blessed man 
not far off, asked his men if yonder were not James 
Fenn, the perverter of his relative's young sons from 
their country's laws to the papistical superstition ; 
and when they repHed that he was indeed the man, 
he incontinently, as if stung by a gadfly, dashed up 
to him at a gallop, beat him severely with his riding- 
crop, and overwhelmed him with cartloads of abuse ". 
This assault, we are told, was this gentleman's way 
of being revenged for the defeat in a theological 
argument which he had sustained at the hands of 
one of James Fenn's quondam pupils. 

After this horse-whipping James thought it inad- 
visable to remain in the neighbourhood, and perhaps 
his host was not very anxious to retain him. 

So he betook himself to Sir Nicholas Poyntz, of 

1 Dt'a. Nat. Biog. xiv. 143. 


Iron Acton, Gloucestershire, one of the eleven 
Knights of the Bath created on the occasion of the 
coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Though he was '' a 
Catholic, great-hearted and held in high esteem by 
all classes," he does not seem ever to have got into 
serious trouble with the Government. About the 
time of James Fenn's martyrdom he was in difficulties 
" for certain unreverend speeches against the Queen, 
the Council, and all the ladies and gentlemen of the 
Court," ^ but two years later he was still one of the 
Justices of the Peace for Gloucestershire.^ We can 
hardly avoid the conclusion that he must have been 
guilty of outward conformity, at least to some degree. 
Sir Nicholas was a rich man with extensive pro- 
perties, and appointed James Fenn to be his agent 
for the major part of them. " In the business he 
showed himself so upright and just that he gained 
both the confidence of his master and the gratitude 
alike of the tenants of the various farms and of the 
domestic servants, as Sir Nicholas himself afterwards 
frankly testified in the presence of our martyr's 
brother Robert, above mentioned,^ with whom he 
used frequently and gladly to converse about him, 
nor could refrain from tears whenever he recalled the 
holy man's fidelity, love, and gentleness towards 
himself, and his own harsh words, ill-temper, and, 

^Cal. S.P. Dom. 1581-90, p. 147. ^ /did. p. 259. 

^ These conversations probably took place before James's 
martyrdom. Sir Nicholas died in 1585. Robert came on the 
mission in April, 1583, was in London the day after the glorious 
12 February, 1584, was imprisoned in the Marshalsea on 
16 February, 1584, was ejciled 1586, and died in Paris 1587. 


as he explained it, villainy, in return." For Sir 
Nicholas *' kindly and liberal as he was by nature 
and generous or rather lavish in his benevolence to 
all men," had an ungovernable temper and an ex- 
ceedingly rough tongue ; and in his talks with 
Robert was never tired of praising the unruffled 
patience with which his steward had taken his abuse. 
One day he had ordered him to do something or 
other, " and noticed that he walked slowly, as was 
his wont, and made no haste, whereupon he flew 
into a rage, and as though frantic, threatened him in 
great displeasure with a scythe which he happened 
to have in his hand. * Mend your pace, you gallows- 
bird,* he cried, ' or I will mow your sluggardly ankles 
with this scythe ! ' Whereupon he turned, and with 
great modesty, * Noble sir,' quoth he, * by the eternal 
God I pray you to wait patiently, for you shall see, if 
God will, that with all this slow pace, I will yet 
finish your business betimes, and wholly according 
to your desire.' " This soft answer made Sir Nicholas 
heartily ashamed of himself, and indeed reduced him 
to tears, as he used to relate. ^' Moreover he used 
frequently to say with great feeling that all the time 
that James was in his house . . . his whole life and 
conversation were one continuous uninterrupted 
sermon," which greatly edified not only the whole 
family but all the guests who came to the house. 
Among the latter was a very wise and virtuous priest, 
who was a frequent visitor to Iron Acton. This in 
all probability was John Colleton, who, having been 
sent by his father to Oxford, crossed the sea to Douay, 
and having been ordained priest, returned to England 


in June, 1576, and went to his house at Milverton, 
in Somersetshire, when he had the happiness of re- 
conciling his father Edmund and his sister Alice to 
the Church. Whoever it was, this priest was greatly- 
impressed by the judiciousness and prudence, the 
modesty and zeal for God's glory, shown by Sir 
Nicholas's steward, and thought that such qualities 
should have a wider scope for their exercise. He 
therefore advised him to seek ordination abroad. 
Acting on this advice, James Fenn arrived at the 
English College at Rheims on 5 June, 1579. There 
he remained for a little over eleven months, winning 
universal respect, affection, and admiration by his 
devoutness, obedience, and unselfishness, and above 
all, by the delicacy and sensitiveness of his conscience. 
He was ordained sub-deacon at Chalons-sur-Marne, 
on Saturday, 27 February, deacon at Rheims, on 
Saturday, 19 March, and priest at Chalons, on Holy 
Saturday, 2 April, 1580 ; all these orders being con- 
ferred by the Bishop of Chalons, Monsignor Cosme 
Clausse' de Marchaumont. He said his first Mass 
on Low Monday, 11 April, and left for England on 
10 May in the same year. 

On landing, he thought he could do no better than 
go back to Somersetshire, where, owing to the ab- 
sence of priests, Protestantism had been making 
great headway. On getting to work, James Fenn 
" brought very many to the knowledge of Catholic 
truth, though they dared not embrace or profess it," 
and induced some, *' and those the leading men in 
the county," to be reconciled to the Church. 

For a year Fenn worked unmolested, and then 


came the news that Father Campion had been taken 
on Monday, 17 July, 1581, at Lyford, and with him 
the two resident priests of Lyford, Ford and Colleton, 
six gentlemen, and two yeomen. The six gentlemen 
included two well-known Somersetshire recusants, 
James Keynes, gentleman, of Compton Pauncefort 
(son-in-law to William Stourton, Esq., of Silvage, 
near Ilminster), and his brother Humphrey. It was 
probably a result of the excitement which this arrest 
caused in Somersetshire that not long afterwards 
James Fenn was arrested on the highroad at Brimp- 
ton, close to the house of one Giles Bernard, '* a 
Catholic and a man of civic rank, who also suffered 
much because he (Fenn) was found near his house, 
which was not far from that of the Sydenhams". ^ 
He was not known to be a priest, but even for a 
layman " saying what he thought in matters of 
religion " was in those days a serious crime. For 
this crime the justices ordered him *' to be taken 
forthwith to Ilchester, thrown into the filthy gaol 
there, in which felons are confined, and loaded with 
iron fetters ". One day he was brought out thence 
in his chains, and set in a public place for the people 
to mock at. They, however, were so greatly im- 
pressed by his patient and tranquil bearing that 
they declined to take their parts in the programme ; 
and, whereas for a long time past complete apathy 
as to religious matters had characterized the towns- 
people of Ilchester and the peasants of the neigh- 

'^ Acts of the English Martyrs^ p. 252. The house alluded 
to is Brimpton House. 


bourhood, the spectacle of a quiet and inoffensive 
man in fetters for plain speaking on religious matters 
gave rise to an acrimonious discussion, in which both 
sides showed considerable heat. 

In these circumstances the justices wrote to the 
Privy Council for directions, and were told to send 
their prisoner up to London at once. This they 
did ; and on arrival he was brought before Sir Francis 
Walsingham, who abused him roundly and sent 
him to the Marshalsea. This was probably before 
20 September, 1581. 

On 16 November Campion, with six other priests 
and a civilian, were condemned for plotting against 
the Queen, — an accusation which was manifestly 
absurd ; and on the next day the other seven were 
condemned on the same charge. At this time a 
priest named Nicholson (probably to be identified 
with the priest Richard Norris of Milverton, Somer- 
set) was committed to the Marshalsea ; and other 
priests were committed shortly afterwards, e.g., 
William Bishop and Thomas Crowther. James Fenn, 
then, was not the only priest in that prison, but he 
held a unique position, inasmuch as he was the only 
priest there not known to be such. He therefore en- 
joyed far greater freedom from surveillance, and ac- 
cess to him was allowed as freely as to the ordinary 
prisoners. Thus he had special opportunities, denied 
to them, of confirming Catholics in their faith and 
making converts among Protestants. Outside Catho- 
lics made him the channel of their alms-deeds, and 
often pressed personal gifts upon him, but he would 
not accept the latter unless they could assure him 


that they were making similar provision for the other 
prisoners, " and not content with so doing, every 
three months, after paying the ordinary prison 
expenses payable by those in 'free custody* to the 
governor and warders, he at once distributed the 
residue among the other prisoners ". 

So he lived for two whole years, known to the 
Catholics as a priest and dispensing the Sacraments 
to them when he could, but among the Protestants 
regarded just as a simple Catholic layman willing, so 
far as in him lay, to help them in material as well as 
spiritual ways. He had a special corner in his heart 
for such of his fellow-prisoners as were convicted of 
piracy or some other atrocious crime, and did every- 
thing in his power to save them from eternal loss. 
The case of one such is described to us. This un- 
happy man had been convicted of piracy and sentenced 
to death, and "had abandoned all hope not only of 
life but of salvation ". James Fenn, on the eve of 
his execution, expounded to him the inexhaustible 
mercy of God, and " bade him take as his example 
and patron the thief who was lifted up on the cross 
with Christ our Saviour," and consider how short 
was the prayer with which he asked for pardon and 
how sweet the answer by which he was forgiven, and 
told him that the Catholic Church could remit all 
sins, however many or monstrous, if only there was 
sincere sorrow for them and a firm resolve not to 
offend God again. " Finally he expounded to him a 
few of the chief heads of Catholic doctrine, so far as 
the shortness of time and the perils of his position 
would admit." The pirate was convinced, and early 


next day made a good confession, was reconciled to 
the Church, and given the Holy Viaticum. Later 
on in the day he was " urged to communicate in 
Calvinistic manner," but flatly declined. Whereupon 
they alternately threatened to rack him if he con- 
tinued obstinate and to reprieve him if he would con- 
sent to abjure the Catholic religion. Finally he was 
brought to the gallows and asked to pray with the 
crowd that surrounded him. He again refused, and 
professed his belief in the Catholic faith and his 
gratitude to Divine providence for having brought 
him in prison to the knowledge of it. " With these 
words the catechumen of one night was turned off 
the ladder and strangled in the noose, to pass as 
confessor and martyr to the triumph of one day, but 
that a day most bright and beautiful, to which no 
nightfall shall ever put an end." 

It is a remarkable fact, proved by the prison 
records of the time, that priests known to be such yet 
contrived to say Mass in prison.^ It is not, therefore, 
surprising to hear that James Fenn found oppor- 
tunities of offering the Holy Sacrifice both before he 
was known to be a priest and afterwards. One of the 
prisoners, a staunch Catholic of illustrious birth (pos- 
sibly Edward Gage, of Bentley), after assisting on a 
holiday at James Fenn's Mass, told a priest who was 
a great friend of the latter (probably Richard Norris) 
that though he had assisted at many Masses said by 
many priests of great reputation for sanctity, he had 
never been sensible of such contrition and exaltation 
as he then experienced. 

1 See for instance C.I^,S. ii. 225. 


For nearly a year before his martyrdom James Fenn, 
having a premonition of his impending fate, began to 
prepare for it by withdrawing from social intercourse 
and leading the life of a hermit so far as his profession 
as a priest and the brotherly love which he bore his 
fellow-captives permitted him to do so. In the second 
half of 1583 he was recognized as a priest, possibly on 
information given by the spy, Thomas Dodwell, and 
was in consequence committed to stricter custody, 
and compelled to enter into controversy with Pro- 
testant ministers. At this time he occupied one 
chamber with three other priests — William Hartley, 
Samuel Conyers, and one Fletcher (i.e. probably 
William Tedder) — in which they managed to say 
frequent Masses, though they were obliged to use a 
tin chalice, all their silver chalices having been taken 
away from them.^ 

Soon afterwards the Privy Council thought it would 
be advisable to put some more priests to death with 
a view of intimidating the others ; and, as a prelim- 
inary, ordered that the now stock questions as to 
the Bull of St. Pius V should be put to them. 

Fenn, when asked which side he would take if the 
Pope should make war on the Queen, begged his 
examiners not to press the question, but to be content 
with his declaration that he was a good subject and 
obedient citizen. As, however, they insisted on a de- 
finite answer, he expressed his views in the most un- 
equivocal terms, well knowing that by so doing he was 
signing his death-warrant. '*The Pope," he said, 

^ Foley, Records Eng. Prov., S./., vi. 725. 



" can deprive the Queen of England, and any other 
Christian prince who resists the authority of the 
ApostoHc See in the government of the Church, of 
all right to rule, and if he do so, it is my duty to hear 
the Church and to obey her decree." 

After such a declaration his ultimate conviction was 
regarded, both by himself and every one else, as cer- 
tain. On his return to prison he was received with 
great enthusiasm by the other Catholic prisoners, 
who crowded round him to ask for his blessing and 
his prayers, and to consult him about their doubts 
and difficulties. Shortly afterwards, about 19 Jan- 
uary, 1583-84, the Council issued injunctions that all 
the priests were to be put into solitary confinement, 
and that no one was to have access to any of them. 

On Wednesday, 5 February, James Fenn, George 
Haydock, Arthur Pitts, William Warmington, Richard 
Slacke, William Hartley, Richard Norris, William 
Deane, and William Bishop were indicted for having 
at Rheims, in Champagne, on 20 September, of the 
23rd of Elizabeth (1581), and in other places, and on 
other days before and after, conspired, etc., to deprive 
the Queen and bring her to death, to raise sedition, to 
cause slaughter and rebellion, to subvert the govern- 
ment of the kingdom and the sincere religion of God 
established in the same ; (2) And also treated together 
of ways and means ; (3) And afterwards on i October 
they agreed to come to England ; (4) And afterwards 
on I November they left Rheims for the aforesaid pur- 
poses.^ As Father Pollen points out, in reality Fenn 

^ C.R.S. V. 54. Stow mistakenly says that they were in- 
dicted for having been ordained abroad by the authority of the 


left for England 10 May, 1580 ; Haydock, 16 January, 
1582 ; Pitts, 22 April, 1581 ; Warmington, 30 January, 
1581 ; Slacke, 21 April, 1581 ; Hartley, 16 June, 1580 ; 
Norris, 3 August, 1579; Deane, 25 January, 1582; 
Bishop, 28 December, 1581.1 On Thursday Fenn 
and Haydock appeared at the Queen's Bench, West- 
minster, under the custody of George Carey, Knight 
Marshal, and Owen Hopton, Knight, Lieutenant of 
the Tower, respectively, and pleaded Not Guilty. On 
Friday they were found guilty. On the same day 
John Mundyn, John Nutter, and Thomas Hemerford 
were found guilty on similar indictments. When 
Fenn was asked what he had to say why sentence of 
death should not be passed on him, he pointed out 
that he had never seen Haydock till they met the 
day before in the dock, and that on 20 September, 
1 581, he was in England, and in prison, and, as he 
thought, in the Marshalsea. He added that he had 
never conspired the Queen's death with any one, and 
would do her no harm, even to gain the whole realm. 
On sentence being passed " the priests soung Te Deum 
and such like godly verses ".^ It was obviously a 
gross travesty of justice. Even Lord Burghley him- 
self is said to have remarked that ''the affair of 
James Fenn was very ill-managed " ; not indeed 
that he allowed any scruples about justice to in- 
terfere with his dealing with Catholics, but he did 

Pope, but this did not become high treason till 1585 {^y Eliz. c. 
2). The Concertatio EcdesicB makes the indictment allege 
conspiracy at Rome as well as Rheims, following the document 
printed C.R.S. v. 57-62. 

^ Op. cit, p. 51. ''Op. cit., p. 60. 



not like the impression which the trial made on the 

Another Protestant, high in Royal favour, was 
present in court when James Fenn was condemned, 
and afterwards told his brother Robert that he would 
not have been one of the jurymen who brought in 
the verdict of Guilty for a thousand pounds. 

From the Queen's Bench, Fenn, Hemerford and 
Nutter, were taken to the Tower, and thrown, laden 
with fetters, into ''the pit," a subterranean cave, 
twenty feet deep, entirely without light. Mundyn 
was not consigned to the " pit," perhaps because 
there was not room for more than three. Hay- 
dock, too, probably because his health was so bad 
that they were afraid he might cheat the gallows, was 
taken back to his old cell in the Tower, where he was 
able to say Mass on the day appointed for the execu- 
tion of all five, Wednesday, 12 February. Till then 
Fenn and his two companions remained in the pit. 
In the Tower he received a visit from the Attorney- 
General, Sir John Popham, and from an old school- 
fellow, now a Professor of Law, who endeavoured 
to make him save his life by taking the oath of su- 
premacy. However, though he was willing to re- 
cognize the Queen's authority in things temporal, he 
maintained that ecclesiastical matters were the Pope's 
province, and his alone, and so was left to his fate. 

On the morning of the 12th, when he was already 
laid on the hurdle at Tower Gate, he looked up, and 
recognized his little daughter, Frances, standing in 
the crowd. She was weeping bitterly, but he kept 
his habitual calm and peaceful expression, as, lifting 


his pinioned hands so far as possible, he gave her 
his blessing, and so was drawn away. 

On coming to Tyburn he prayed a little at the 
foot of the gallows. One of the sheriffs, John 
Spencer, then bade him confess his treason and ask 
the Queen's forgiveness, whereupon he asserted his 
innocence of the crime, and said he had never wished 
to harm the Queen by so much as a pin-prick. One 
who was present at the martyrdom wrote : ^ *' Mr. 
Fenn was the third that suffered, being bidd to doe 
as before, answered as his fellows did & sayd, ' I am 
condemned for that I with Mr. Haddock at Rheims 
did conspire, & at which time Mr. Haddock was a 
student at Rome and I a prisoner in the Marshalsea, 
or at the lest I am sure that I was in England, but 
to my remembrance I was a prisoner in the Marshal- 
sea. Therefore, good people, judge you whether I 
am guilty of this fact or noe.' A minister called 
Hene avouched a place of St. Paul, whereunto Mr. 
Fenn said : ' I am not to be taught my duty by you '. 
The rest of his speeches were to the same effect as his 
fellows' were. Before the cart was driven away, he 
was stripped of all his apparell saving his shirt only ; 
and presently after the cart was driven away his 
shirt was pulled off his back, so that he hung stark 
naked, whereat the people muttered greatly and the 
other sherif, called Masham, sayd to the officers, 
' You play the knaves. They be men. Let them be 
used like men,' and alwaies commanded that they 
should hang until they were dead. Notwithstanding 

^C.R.S. V. 62. 


the other sherif commanded that they should be cut 
down presently, and soe was Mr. Fenn, but his 
companions following him were permitted to hang 

He was disembowelled before he had become in- 
sensible. His quarters were hung up above the four 
chief gates of the City, and his head exposed to view 
on a long pole on London Bridge. 

Father William Warford, S.J., calls him " a man 
of much virtue and learning, with a great disesteem 
of himself," and adds that " it was remarked of him 
that he had so great a dislike of fine clothes, that, 
even when they were required for a disguise, he could 
not be persuaded to wear them ". 

J. B. W. 

Authorities. — Concertatio EcclesicE Anglicana. The bio- 
graphy of James Fenn was written, or at least inspired, by John 
Fenn, M.A., B.C.L., and was evidently composed before the 
death of Robert Fenn in 1587. It is cited above in quotation 
marks, without further comment. Catholic Record Society^ vol. 
V. No. xix. Indictment of James Fenn and others ; No. xxi. 
Writs Concerning Trial and Executions of George Haydock 
and others ; No. xxii. About George Haydock and his Com- 
panions. Acts of English Martyrs ; Warford 's Relation^ p. 
252. A fuller edition of the life here printed will be found 
among the biographies published by the Catholic Truth Society. 



Tyburn, 12 February, 1584. 

Before 20 June, 1587, Dr. Humphrey Ely had 
sent to Father John Gibbons, SJ., " the life of Mr. 
Emerford, priest," to be included in the Concertatio 
EcclesicE, but it appears to have been intercepted, 
and very little is known about this martyr. All 
authorities, however, are agreed that he came from 

Henry Hemerford, of Folke, Dorset, had a son 
Robert, who died 2 Edw. VI (Weaver, Visitations 
of Somerset, 114). 

William Hemerford, B.D., minister of Folke, died 
there 4 October, 1583 (Hutchins, Dorset, iv. 181). 
He is probably the William Hemerford of Stoke 
who married Margaret, fifth daughter of Thomas 
Copleston of Luckcombe, Somerset (Vivian, Visita- 
tions of Devon, 224). It is not improbable that our 
martyr was a son of this Protestant minister. How- 
ever this may be, he was born in Dorsetshire about 
i553» ^^^ became a scholar of St. John's College, 
Oxford. Thence he removed, probably on religious 



grounds, to Hart Hall, from which he took the degree 
of B.C.L., 30 June, 1575. There he ''held a dispu- 
tation with Isaac [i.e. Israel] Glisson of Bristol, a 
student of the same Hall as his opponent". Israel 
Glisson matriculated from Hart Hall in 1572 and 
supplicated B.C.L. in 1573 and obtained the degree 
30 October, 1591, being at that time a member of St. 
John's College. 

On leaving Oxford he probably entered his name 
at one of the Inns of Court, but we have no knowledge 
of his doings for the next five years. He arrived at 
the English College at Rheims on g June, 1580, and 
left again on the 23rd of the same month. Shortly 
afterwards he returned, and set out thence on 4 
August for Rome.-^ He was admitted to the English 
College at Rome on g October, 1580, and took the 
College oath oh the following 16 May. Of his career 
at the College we know little ; but Mr. Edmund 
Thornell who took the oath the same day and lived 
with him in the College for two years, and who died 
at Rome in 1617, often told Father William Warford, 
S.J., that he was so careful in regard to chastity that, 
as often as any troublesome carnal thought occurred 
to him, he at once retired to some secret place and 
gave himself a discipline until, warned by his confessor, 
he was obliged to treat himself less rigorously. He 
was a short man with a dark beard, severe of look, 
but of a sweet disposition, and very pleasant and ex- 
emplary in conversation. He was ordained priest in 
March, 1582-3, by Thomas Goldwell, the exiled Bishop 

^ Douay Diaries, pp. 168, 196, ^iZ- 


of St. Asaph, and soon afterwards received in fare- 
well audience by Pope Gregory XI 11/ who granted 
him various special faculties, one of which was that 
of imparting the Apostolic blessing and a plenary in- 
dulgence to anyone whom he might receive into the 
Church. He left Rome in April, arrived at Rheims 
on 9 June, 1583, and left for England on the 25th 
of the same month. He landed in Hampshire, and 
very soon after landing " was obliged to stay in a 
certain village, whilst the smith put on a shoe upon 
one of his horse's feet. In the meantime a malicious 
heretic, passing by and considering the man, affirmed 
that he was the priest that had preached in the barn, 
and upon this account presently apprehended him. 
So Mr. Hemerford in a moment lost both his horse 
and his liberty." ^ He was probably imprisoned at 
Winchester for a time and then brought up to the 
Marshalsea. On Wednesday, 5 February, 1584, he was 
indicted for having conspired on 30 April, 1582, at 
Rome, the death of the Queen, etc., and on the same 
day having consulted with John Mundyn as to ways 
and means, and for having agreed to come to Eng- 
land, 31 May, 1583, and having left Rome for the 
purpose on 30 June. In truth, as we have seen, he 
left Rome in April, 1583. On Thursday, 6 February, 
1583-4, he was brought to the bar of the Court of 
Queen's Bench in Westminster Hall by Sir George 
Carey, the Knight Marshal of the Queen's Marshalsea, 

^ One account wrongly dates this audience September, 1 582. 
Foley, Records Eng. Prov., S./., vi. 80. 

- Rev. Henry Holland, S.T.L., in the Appendix to Bishop 
Challoner's first volume. 


and committed to Sir Owen Hopton, Lieutenant of 
the Tower, and pleaded Not Guilty. On Friday the 
jury brought in a verdict of Guilty, and he received 
sentence of death. He was thereupon taken back 
to the Tower and with his venerable fellow-martyrs, 
James Fenn and John Nutter, laden with iron fetters 
and cast into the underground dungeon known as " the 
pit," where he remained till the day of his execution. 
On 12 February, Thomas Hemerford, together with 
George Haydock, John Mundyn, and the two other 
priests above mentioned, was drawn to Tyburn. An 
eye-witness thus describes his death : — ^ 

"After Mr. Haddock was taken to the block Mr. 
Hemerford was brought unto the cart ; he was very 
milde, and sometime a scholler of St. John's College 
in Oxford. Spenser ^ bad him confesse and aske for- 
givenesse as before : but he protested innocency as 
Mr. Haddock had done ; yet sayd ' Where in I have 
offended her, I ask her forgivenesse, but in this fact 
of treason alleaged against me, I never offended '. 
Then sayd a minister, master of art of St. John's 
College of Oxford, ' You and I ware of old acquaint- 
ance in Oxford, by which I request you to pray openly 
and in English, that the people may pray with you '. 
Then said Mr. Hemerford, * I understand Latin well 
enough, and am not to be taught of you. I request 
only Catholicks to pray with me.' Where upon 
answered the minister, ' I acknowledge that in Oxford 
you were always by farre my better. Yet many 

^ C.R.S. V. 6 1, 62. 

^ John Spencer, one of the Sheriffs, as to whom see Dicf. 
Nat. Biog. liii. 357. 


times it pleaseth God, that the learned should be 
taught by the simple.' 

"One Risse, termed a Doctor of Divinity, asked 
Mr. Hemerford whither he would hold with the Pope 
or the Queen, in case the Pope should send an army 
into England. Whereunto Mr. Hemerford answered, 
That in case they were sent in respect of the Pope's 
own person, then he would holde with the Queen ; 
but if it were sent to suppresse heresy or to restore 
the land to the catholick faith, then he would hold 
with the Pope. His speech was short being not 
permitted to speak much, and in substance the rest 
of his speech, not here sett down verbatim, was to 
the same effect that Mr. [Haddock's] was. He was 
cutt downe half dead : when the tormentor did cutt 
off his membres, he did cry ' Oh ! A ! ' — I heard 
myself standing under the gibbet." 

Father Warford too adds his testimony, that, 
" being mutilated in the usual manner while still 
alive, he was seized with such an agony of pain that 
the vehemence of his cries was much noted ". 

J. B. W. 

Authorities.— Z^//^r^Z>r. Ely to Father Gibbons, C.R.S. 
V. 141. About George Hay dock and his Companions, ibid. 61. 
Father Warford's Relation of the Martyrs, A.E.M. 253. Douay 
Diaries, 168, 196, 333. Wood, A thence Oxonienses. Indictment 
and Judgment, C.R.S. v. 55. Diarium Turris. Foley, Diary 
of the English College, Rome, vi. 90, 165. Challoner, Henry 
Holland^ s Relation, Appendix. Bridgewater, Concertatio, 156. 
Historia del glorioso jnarti?-io di diciotto Sacerdoti, 208-16. 
Yepez, Hist. Part. 522. 



Tyburn^ 12 February, 1584. 

According to Mr. Gillow, our martyr ''was born 
at Reedley Hallows, a vaccary in Pendle Forest, in 
the chapelr}^ of Burnley, and parish of Whalley, co. 
Lancaster," where "the Nutters seem to have been 
a family of some position ".^ This may be the case, 
but all I can personally ascertain is that he was 
of Burnley.^ His brother Robert, afterwards, like 
himself, a martyr for the faith,'* and his friend, the 
seminary priest, Robert Woodroffe,^ were educated 
at a school at Blackburn kept by the Catholic school- 
master Mr. Yates,^ and it is probable that our martyr 

^ Reprinted with some alterations from the writer's pamphlet. 
Venerable John Ntt/fer, published by the Catholic Truth 

"^ Bibl. Diet. Eng. Caih. v. 201. 

=* C.R.S. V. 38. 

^ Ibid. 203. 

^ For an account of Robert Woodroflfe see the pamphlet above 
referred to, p. i, note 3. 

"P.R.O., S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxl. 105 (17). 


also was educated there. He was afterwards a 
scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge.^ He arrived 
at the English College, Rheims, with his brother 
Robert,'^ on 23 August, 1579. We next find him in 
the capacity of tutor or pedagogue to a party of eleven 
young men, who left Rheims on 3 October, 1581, for 
Verdun, to be instructed by the Jesuits there. He 
probably returned directly after he had handed them 
over. He was ordained sub-deacon at Soissons on 
10 June, 1582, where Monsignor Charles de Rouci- 
Sissonne was then bishop ; deacon and priest at Laon 

^ C.R.S. V. 62. Bishop Challoner and Mr. Gillow are 
mistaken in speaking of him as educated at Oxford. Thqir 
statements are probably based on the fact that Anthony k Wood, 
commenting on the B.D. degree taken by one of the same name 
as our martyr on 30 June, 1575 {Fasti^ i. 199) says : " Whether 
he was the same John Nutter who suffered death at Tyburn, 12 
Feb., 1582 \sic\ for being a Roman Catholic priest and denying 
the queen's supremacy, I know not. — Qucere.''^ It is improbable 
on the face of it. The man who took the degree had been six- 
teen years in theology, and was of Brazenose College {Oxford 
Hist. Soc. xii. 54), and is probably the John Nutter who was 
ordained acolyte at Chester in June, 1557 (Frere's Marian 
Reaction, p. 267), and became Canon of Chester in 1566, 
Rector of Sefton in 1 567, and Rector of Aughton and Babington 
and Dean of Chester in 1579. He died suddenly as he was at 
supper at Sefton, 30 March, 1602. He was a very wealthy man, 
and Queen Elizabeth termed him a " golden ass " (Foster, 
Alumni Oxonienses). 

^ Mr. Gillow {op. cit. v. 203) says that Robert was the younger 
brother ; but as Robert was ordained priest 21 December, 1581 
— i.e. nine months before John — it would seem more likely that 
he was the elder. The reference to " Nutter, senior," on p. 168 
of the Douay Diaries does not help us to solve this question. 


on 22 September, by the bishop Monsignor Valentine 
Douglas, O.S.B. ; and said his first Mass on i October 
in the same year. He left Rheims on 24 November 
for the English Mission in the company of his friends 
Robert Woodroffe ^ and Samuel Conyers.^ Unless 
Woodroffe's health had made marvellous improvement 
in a week, he, at any rate, went in a carriage.^ They 
went together as far as Rouen, where for some reason 
or other Conyers stayed behind, while the other two 
went on to Havre. The rest of the story is told in 
the second volume of the third edition of the Con- 
certatio Ecclesice^ from which I have translated it. 
At Havre, or Newhaven, as the English then called 
it, " they were obliged to delay, waiting for a prosper- 
ous wind, for so long a time, that, their provision for 
the journey being well-nigh exhausted, one at least 
had perforce to turn back to get money for himself 
and his companion wherewith they might continue 
on their way and pay the debts already there con- 
tracted. So Mr. Nutter took the road alone, and 
hastened back to Rouen with all speed (it having 
been first a^eed between the twain that if Mr. 
Woodroffe should find a good ship and a favouring 
breeze before his return, he should not let slide the 
opportunity to pass over). 

** Having arrived thither with difficulty, by reason 
of a fever that had taken him by the way, he found 

^ See p. 76, note i. 

^ For an account of Samuel Conyers see the life as published 
by C.T.S., p. 3, note 3: 
^ Douay Diaries^ p. 321. 


there three other priests,^ intent with equal zeal on 
setting forth for England. To these he joined him- 
self, and having in part recovered his strength, which 
had been almost destroyed by disease and the dis- 
comforts of the journey, girt him again for the road, 
and in company of the others returned to Newhaven. 
There after a few days they went on shipboard, and 
set sail for Scarborough, in Yorkshire. For two days 
and nights they enjoyed a favouring gale, and hoped 
to touch their desired port within one day more, 
when suddenly a contrary wind arose and blew so 
hard that they were in danger of being driven among 
shallows and sandbanks, whereupon they decided to 
run before the wind, and so were carried to the coast 
of Suffolk. When they were within sight of land the 
helm broke, and forced them to abandon even this 
contrary course, and to bring the ship to land as best 
they could, and wait till they could repair the de- 
struction of the rudder by planks roughly joined 
together. This work in some sort achieved, they 
again set sail for Yarmouth, as they had aforetime 
planned. But God disposed otherwise for His 
servants, and when they were scarce two English 
miles off the port of Dunwich, Mr. Nutter's malady 
had increased so grievously that he must at all 
hazards be brought to land, for he could not walk. 

^ This appears to be a mistake, see p. 78. He found his friend 
Samuel Conyers, above mentioned, and another priest, but the 
third person, Peter Lawson, seems to have been a layman, though 
in one prison list he is described as a priest (see C.R.S. ii. 231). 
He was, no doubt, one of the Lawsons of Brough, Yorks, and a 
friend of Samuel Conyers. 


So the ship was left riding at anchor, to be repaired 
by the sailors, and the sick man was laid in a 
fishing-boat, and taken by the other priests to the 
neighbouring township [of Dunwich], and cared for 
in such an hostelry as the place afforded. 

" On the following night about two o'clock news 
was brought that a pirate vessel had gone ashore off 
Orford Ness, but that the pirates had fled in divers 
directions, as was known from the information ^ of 
a boy who had been captured while trying to escape. 
On receipt of this news the Town-Bailiffs ^ burst into 
the inn, accompanied by the Vice-Admiral of the 
district, and made a careful search among the 
strangers' possessions, diligently observing both their 
clothes and their faces, and plying them with 
questions, if haply by one reply or another they 
might get some proof that they were of the number 
of these pirates ; and though there was nought that 
could have brought them into just suspicion of any 
crime, they^ were nevertheless committed to the 
public prison until such time as the Bailiffs might 
make sure of their honesty, these inhuman wretches 
oftentimes repeating that they might think them- 
selves fortunate to have been let off so lightly. Their 

^ The original reads " iudicio," which must be emended into 
" indicio ". 

2 " Prastores oppidani." The Bailiffs of Dunwich at this time 
were William Bulbrooke and Ralph Booltflower, and the date 
of this arrest would appear to be 15 January, 1582-3 (see 
P.R.O., S.P. Dom. Eliz. clviii. 16, 17, 18). 

^ I.e. Conyers and Lawson ; for Nutter, being too ill to be 
moved, remained at the inn (see p. 82). 


captors' intent was to keep them in gaol for the 
nonce, until their goods [on shipboard] had also been 
examined/ and something certain discovered as to 
their rank and position ; but the sea all that day- 
was so rough that the boats which had withdrawn 
to safe anchorage dared not set forth. 

" On the next day, however, early in the morning, 
the ship on which the priests had come was so 
vehemently tossed and stricken by the frequent 
squalls, that at last she broke her cables, and was 
driven by the force of the storm on to a sandbank, 
where she rapidly went to pieces and sank, though 
by the Divine blessing all the crew were saved. 

" After a little time, however, at the ebb-tide, when 
the hull could be approached, men ran to search it, 
and overhauled it thoroughly, to take possession of 
any of the goods which were salvable for the use of 
the township, to which by the law relating to wrecks 
everything pertained.^ Among the other things on 
which they laid hands were the books ^ and othei 

^ The original reads " explorata nam et mercibus," which 
must be read " exploratis iam et mercibus ". The goods in 
question must be the goods which they had confessed to having 
on their own vessel in order to clear themselves of being pirates. 

^ The original runs " ut, si quid esset mercium quod salvari 
posset, in usum municipii illius occuparetur, ad quos iure 
naufragii spectabant omnia ". For " quos " we should no doubt 
read "quod," but this is an inaccurate statement of the law. 
The township was responsible as trustee. 

^ These books were about 500 catechisms (i.e., probably copies 
of the Li^ge edition of Laurence Vaux's Catechism^ 1583), fif- 
teen Latin Testaments, thirty Latin Primers, and forty-five 
Meditations of the Life of Christ {C.jR.S. v. 38). 



furniture of the priests. These, however, were 
arranged and done up in packs like other merchan- 
dize ; so as not to give the beholder the slightest clue 
to their contents. 

" So the godly men might have sought safety in 
flight, but for the fact that Mr. Nutter was so sick 
that he lay at full length on his bed and could not 
stir a foot. 

" But while the priests were discussing the affair, 
and thinking of procuring a litter or a vehicle, the 
matter ended thus. One of the servants,^ whom the 
magistrates ^ had left to keep ward over the ship, lest 
any of the goods seized should be stolen, himself 
embezzled a bundle of books, thinking, belike, it 
contained other goods than those which he after- 
wards found. 

" When, however, he examined his treasure, and 
found he had played the freebooter with such ill 
success, he regarded his lack of luck as a wrong done 
him by the Catholics, and exposed the whole matter 
to the Bailiffs. They, forthwith rushing to the inn 
where Mr. Nutter was being entertained, asked him 
again whence and who he was. 

** At first, ignorant of all that had happened, he 
said that he was apprenticed to a certain citizen of 
York, but afterwards, when he saw that their counsels 
had been laid bare, he frankly confessed that he was 

^"Ministris." Bishop Challoner and Mr. Gillow take this 
word to mean Protestant " Ministers," as it does later on in the 
story, but they are not likely persons to have been set to keep 
guard over a wreck. 

^ " Quaestores." 


both a Catholic and a priest. Then the warder of 
the prison, who was present with the other officers 
of justice, at once affixed to his foot a vast iron chain 
with a very heavy wooden block at the end, and 
returning to the prison bound in like manner Mr. 
Nutter's companions — Mr. Conyers, a priest, and 
Lawson, a layman ; for the other two priests, having 
no money, had been obliged to hasten to their homes 
directly they came to land. At the conclusion of 
this matter one of the two Bailiffs^ straightway 
mounted his horse and sped to London to acquaint 
the Privy Council of what had chanced. Awaiting 
his return the sick man had to bear troubles other 
and far heavier than any caused by his malady, 
namely, attacks by the parish-ministers (an utterly 
absurd and despicable class of men) and of others 
well reputed for their learning, amid the unlearned 
crowd, who all joined forces to assault the priest of 
God, some this way and some that way, but all, as 
is usual among heretics, with the utmost pride and 
fierceness. All their attacks were so well sustained 
and repulsed by the Catholic priest, that the ministers 
afterward, when they came to discuss him among 
themselves, concluded that the grave dignity of his 
face and words, and his exact knowledge of the 
matters proposed to him, would hardly be found 
except in a Bishop or a Jesuit, and that a man of 
this importance would not be sent into England 
unless to work some great ill to his country and 
fellow-citizens. And though they saw that he was 
so utterly exhausted, partly by the violence of his 

» William Bulbrooke {C.R.S. v. 37). 


sickness and partly by the discomfort of his chains, 
that he was unable not only to get up but even to 
turn over on the other side when he was tired, so 
foreign to all sense of humanity are they who have 
let Calvin's deadly poison sink into the depths of 
their hearts, that out of all that crowd of ministers 
and others not one was found to have pity on his 
great affliction, and suggest the removal, for the 
time at least, of that heavy chain and its wooden 

" After ten days the Bailiff returned, bearing the 
commands of the Council that he and his colleague 
should see that their captives were brought to London 
as traitors at the common expense of the town.^ 
So the blessed confessors were put together into a 
waggon, and [each] bound to an iron chain by two 
hobbles, such as are used for horses, and a large 
crowd of horsemen rode on either side, armed with 
barbed spears and like weapons, with intent to keep 
the bound prisoners from escaping, to strike terror 
on all whom they might pass on the way, and to 
show by the silent threat of arms that utterly lost 
and execrable were the captives, and that great was 
the wreck and ruin they had plotted against the 
realm. The malice and harshness used throughout 
the whole journey towards the servants of Christ 
was such as would have disgraced a savage tribe. 
For whenever it was possible to proceed along a level 

^ The costs of the baiHff in bringing /our prisoners to Rich- 
mond and returning to Dunvvich amounted to^i8 {C.J^.S. v. 
37), It is not known who the fourth prisoner was. 


road, their inhuman captors preferred to urge the 
waggon by steep and stony paths, that they might 
be the more shaken and tossed about by the wheels 
and feel more heavily and often the weight of the 
fetters that oppressed them. This caused the rest 
the greatest discomfort, but for Nutter in his violent 
sickness it was utterly unbearable. The piteous 
wailings and constant groans that the greatness of 
his pain called forth might have melted the most 
hostile of hearts, and so his comrades asked their 
escort, that as it appeared he was at the point to die, 
they would pay him at least the kind service of taking 
the smoother roads when they were equally short. 
This request not only moved no pity, but was received 
with laughter and jeers. ' Well we know that ye 
are priests,' they cried, ' and priests all the virtues 
beseem, but especially patience : so ye must exercise 
the same in every way.' So when their patience 
had been exercised after this sort for four days 
partly by the roughness and badness of the roads, 
but much more by the roughness and badness of 
their captors' hearts, at last they won to London, 
and were brought to the Tower. Thereto they were 
not yet admitted, inasmuch as the Lieutenant of the 
Tower had no command to that effect from the 
Council. That night, then, they remained in charge 
of the Bailiffs' men, and the next day were taken to 
Richmond to appear before Walsingham, who was 
then at Court. He examined them all, but Nutter 
first, who replied in a few words (for he was so weak 
that he could scarce stand or even speak) that he was 
a Catholic priest, and was thereupon sentenced to 


be lodged, together with his companions, in the 
prison called the Marshalsea.^ 

" While he was in prison he was shortly restored 
to health by the favour^ of God and the kind offices 
of some Catholics ; and there he remained a whole 
year, which he spent in the diligent exercise of all 
the virtues. If we may mention one, however, as his 
special glory, it was his marvellous kindness to all 
who came to consult him about their doubts. On 
the other hand, towards such heretics as he found to 
be contumacious and obstinate he bore himself right 
gallantly and showed a burning zeal for the Catholic 
Faith. He caused many to return to the unity of 
the Church Catholic, and gave diligent heed to their 
proper instruction. So vigorous and unwearied was 
he in his work among souls, that though sometimes 
he seemed to have wasted much time and to have no 
fruit of his labour, he neither lost hope nor gave over 
the task begun, but rather persevered and continued 
his pious prayers and exhortations, till, God giving 
His blessing, the sky yielded rain, and the earth her 

" For one of these the holy man felt an especial 
depth of affection, and neglected nought whereby he 
might promote the salvation of his friend's soul, and 
yet made no progress in this quarter during his own 
lifetime ; but afterward drew him so strongly by the 
spectacle of his death, that he became a new man 

^ They were committed to the Marshalsea, i February, 1 582-3, 
where Peter Lawson died in September, 1586, aged forty-eight. 

2 The original reads "numero," which must be a mistake for 
" munere ''. 


and heartily desired to live in that Church for which 
he had seen God's holy priest die with such con- 

" Furthermore, Christ's blessed priest was entirely 
removed from all inclination to revenge, and readily 
forgot the direst wrongs done to him. Nay, if any 
man harmed him, he would gladly repay him by 
some kindness if he could. This he gloriously 
showed in the case of those Bailiffs whose ill-treat- 
ment of him was yet fresh in his memory. For in 
a suit instigated by certain of the servants of the 
Marshal, to whose custody the captives had now 
been entrusted, these men were brought before the 
Court for wrongful detainer of certain clothes be- 
longing to Mr. Conyers, and the case was like to go 
against them.^ They therefore humbly begged those 
Catholics whom they had but late so savagely treated, 
to put an end to the case and not allow the said ser- 
vants to prosecute it. 

*' To this request Mr. Conyers was unwilling to 
accede unless he were paid his taxed costs in the 
matter; but the godly Nutter besought his fellow- 
prisoner for his enemies, saying, * Let us give an ex- 
ample of Christian charity by yielding somewhat of 
our rights, rather than supply an occasion for calumny 
by seeking that to which we are in justice entitled '. 

" Moreover, if he saw vices in any, he rebuked them 
freely, and that in such downright and outspoken 

^ The Bailiffs were obliged to restore to any owner, who made 
good his claim within a year and a day, either his actual pro- 
perty salved, or if it was *of a perishable nature the money re- 
sulting from the sale thereof. 


terms (though always with great personal humility) 
that his fellower-prisoners called him John Plain. 

" He was allotted ^ a garret at the very top of the 
house right under the roof, very bare and uncom- 
fortable ; but the good man preferred it to all others 
because it was quiet, and on that account convenient 
for prayer and meditation. 

" He kept his body under not only by fastings and 
watchings, but by the frequent discipline of the 
scourge, a fact concealed very carefully, but dis- 
covered a little before his death by one to whose 
friendship he had trusted too implicitly. 

" It chanced one day that a certain priest was to 
be bound in chains, and the warders were engaged in 
fixing them on his hands and feet, when the man 
of God heard thereof, and with holy rashness rushed 
in, and seizing the shackles kissed them with great 
veneration. This pious act aroused the amused con- 
tempt of the warders, who asked him if he would 
fain kiss the iron manacles also, wherewith the 
priest's hands were to be bound ; whereto he replied 
that this he would gladly do, forthwith kissing the 
same with equal zeal, saying that holy bodies ever 
impart some sanctity even to the very fetters and 
garments which they touch. 

" Thus, having well laid the foundation of the 
mansion that should be his in the heavens, and be- 
ing now nigh unto the time foreordained of God for 
his blessed consummation, the holy man was again 
brought before the examiners, who asked him many 
questions on many different points, as is the custom, 

^ The original reads "sorditus," which is clearly "sortitus ". 


to all of which he replied with great constancy and 
fearlessness. Then they put that question which is 
generally propounded last, a weapon of most certain 
death, to wit, what would he do if the Roman Pontiff 
were to raise an army against England ; to which 
the prudent priest replied he would act as became an 
honest and Catholic priest. When pressed to say 
what in his opinion an honest priest should do in 
such a state of affairs, he repeated his previous answer 
in nearly the same words, and could not be led to say 
anything further. Whereupon they were enraged, 
and said he had a most treasonable mind, and must 
be treated as a traitor and a public enemy. 

" On the next day the priest, through Way, the 
governor of the prison, approached Popham, the 
Queen's Majesty's attorney-general, and promised 
him to set out everything at length and in good faith, 
if he would in like faith promise to deliver what he 
should write into the Queen's proper hands. The 
offer being taken in the same spirit in which it was 
made, the priest wrote something, and gave it, care- 
fully sealed, to the governor, and the governor to the 
attorney-general. What was therein written we have 
never yet been able to learn, but it may be con- 
jectured that he thereby declared that the intent 
wherewith he and his companions came into Eng- 
land was not to disturb the public peace (as the foes 
of peace and truth have held), but to bring about 
and confirm the peace of God in the hearts of men, 
not to bring death on the Queen or on any of the 
nobles of the realm, but to call to undying life all 
who would hear the words of life and salvation. 


*' That this and more to a like purport were written 
by him with full Christian liberty, his own words to 
his friends hinted, and the sequel openly showed. 
For on the delivery of the letter the first reply he 
received was that he must appear in Westminster 
Hall before the Court of Queen's Bench. And there 
he and other priests were accused of treason, and 
sentence of death was pronounced against them.^ 

" Wherefore, a few days after, five priests at one 
time were dragged from the Tower of London to 
Tyburn, and were there hanged, and disembowelled 
while yet alive, ^ and quartered, and thus gave glorious 
testimony to Catholic truth. 

''And in this holy conflict the venerable Nutter 
fought in the fourth place. Such in all that long 
journey was his eagerness to begin the fray, that his 
spiritual sons who flocked from all sides to see their 
father battling for the cause of the Catholic Church 
were wonderfully cheered by the peacefulness of his 
brow ; such, when the conflict began, was his valour 
and greatness, that 'twas easy to see no mere man 
was fighting, it was God fighting in man ; and such 
now are his glory and splendour as he triumphs in 
heaven, that no man nor yet angel can tell of them. 
So to the King of Ages, immortal and invisible, the 
only God, be honour and glory, world without end. 

J. B. W. 

^ As to the indictment and trial see the account of Ven. John 
Mundyn, below, pp. loo, loi. 

^ An eye-witness reports that Nutter and Mundyn were allowed 
to hang longer than the rest. 


Authorities.— Examina^wn of John Nutter^ C.R.S. v. 38. 
About George Haydock and Companions^ ibid. p. 62. Bridge- 
water, ConcertatiOy 156*. Yepez, Hist. Part. 522-9. Challoner, 
i. I 51-6. Y7 006.^ At h. Oxon. Diarium Turris. 



Tyburn, 12 February, 1584. 

John Mundyn, born in the Manor of Coltley in the 
parish of South Maperton, Dorset, entered Winchester 
College in 1555, then aged twelve.^ He proceeded in 
due course to New College, Oxford, where he became 
a Fellow in 1562. When the Visitor's Commissary, 
George Acworth, Doctor of Laws, visited the College 
on 20 September, 1566, and tendered to all on the 
Foundation the oath of canonical obedience to the 
Visitor, Home, the Protestant Bishop of Winchester, 
Mr. Mundyn refused, and was suspended. He was 
eventually deprived for not having communicated 
since the accession of Elizabeth.^ His history for 
the next fourteen years is almost a blank, but it ap- 
pears that he went down to his native county and 
employed himself as a schoolmaster. There he made 
the acquaintance of one John Chapman, who (having 
taken his M.A. degree at Oxford in 1567 and become 
Rector of Wheathall, Somerset, in 1571) was Vicar 

^ Kirby, Winchester Scholars, p. 132. 
^ New College {Oxford College Histories), pp. 1 17-19. 


of Little Cheney, Dorset, from 1572 to 1574, and 
Rector of Langton Herring, Dorset, 1573 to 1579. In 
the latter year he left his living secretly, and went to 
Rheims, where he was ordained priest, and sent on the 
Mission in 1581. In August, 1583, he was in prison 
at Winchester, and on the 8th of that month the Bishop 
wrote to Walsingham, enclosing his examination, in 
which this passage is relevant : *' Item, thys ex- 
aminate allso sayeth that he was acquaynted with 
one Mondayne, who was Schole-mayster of Dorchester, 
and of diverse other places in that Countie, and sayeth 
that he was accompted a Papist, and was in trowble 
for Religion during the tyme of hys being there. 
And being examined where thys Mondayne was att 
thys present, sayeth that he cannot tell, neyther had 
he any Conference wth hym ".^ 

In 1580 an entry occurs in the Diary of the Eng- 
lish College at Douay, then temporarily at Rheims, 
of which the following is a translation : " On the gth 
of October, John Mundyn arrived from England. 
He was formerly a Fellow of New College, Oxford,^ 
and is now a student of civil law. At Dover, before 
he was allowed to get down from his horse, a tipstaff 
came up and took him to the mayor's house. The 
mayor, learning that he purposed to pass beyond the 
seas, let him know that this might by no means be 
with his good will, unless he should first openly pro- 
claim the Pope to be a sorry knave. This he refused 
to do, and had in consequence to undergo a searching 

1 C.R.S. V. 32. 

'-' Marginal note : " Dedicated to Blessed Mary the Virgin and 
founded by Bishop William Wykeham of blessed memory ' . 


examination and scrutiny : for they despoiled him of 
all his clothes down to his shirt, and would have 
stripped off that also, had he not at first offered 
valiant resistance. At length they espied a purse 
hung to a clasp about his neck, in which was money 
to the value of forty-six French crowns, and forty 
shillings beside. Then at the sight, as though they 
had found the expected booty, they desisted from the 
scrutiny. He left his money with them, and has come 
to us." Soon, however, further sums must have been 
transmitted to him, for when he left the College on 
12 August, 1581, he took with him a letter to Father 
Alphonso Agazzario, S.J., the head of the English 
College, Rome, in the course of which Dr. Allen 
writes : " He is a man utterly Catholic and honest, 
and is setting out to Rome mainly out of devotion. 
He is not unfitted for the priesthood : but up to the 
present he has not asked for it, and we have not 
urged him much, because he has not lived at the 
expense of the College." He appears to have pre- 
sented the letter, to have entered the English College 
at Rome, 18 October, 158 1, and to have lived there 
for sufficient time to be regarded as an alumnus : ^ 
but he must have left it before being ordained priest, 
as in his answers to Walsingham, hereinafter quoted, 
he states that though a priest, he was not of the 
Seminary. On 13 June, 1582, he was back at Rheims 
already a priest ; and on the following 6 August,^ he 

1 Foley, /Records Eng. Prov., S./., vi. 1 1 1, 146. 

^ Mr. Gillow's warning {Bibliog. Did. v, p. 142), that he 
is not to be confounded with John Munden, of Wells Diocese, is 
very necessary. 


left for the English Mission. It appears from Bishop 
Rennet's MS., xviii. 25, that he there used the name 
of George Coryat. One of this name (whose life is 
given in Did. Nat. Biog. xii. 258) was two years 
junior to Mundyn at Winchester, but became Scholar 
and Fellow of New College in the same years with 
him, viz., 1560 and 1562. 

The following is a translation of the account of his 
arrest and death given in the Concertatio Ecclesice 
Anglicance, 1589-94 edition, part ii. pp. 140 sqq. : — 

"■ In the year from the Virgin-Birth 1583, towards 
the end of the month of February, Mr. John Mundyn, 
a priest, on his way from Winchester ^ to London, 
met on Hounslow Heath one Hammon, a lawyer,^ 
with others in his company. Now Mundyn was 
known to Hammon, and already so close before his 
sight that there was no opportunity of retreat or 
flight. So, as the matter admitted not of counsel 
nor of consultation, he did under the deplorable cir- 
cumstances what first came into his mind. Lightly 
wrapping his cloak about his head, he set spurs to 
his horse, and galloped forward at full speed : then, 
drawing near to Hammon, saluted him in a low 
voice, and so was passing on his way. ' What, 
Mundyn ! ' quoth the lawyer. * The same,' replied 
the priest. ' Glad am I,' quoth Hammon, * that thou 
hast met me. Whence comest ? ' ' From Winchester,' 

^ Henry Holland, author of Uma Aurea^ cited in the Ap- 
pendix to Challoner's first volume, says " Windsor ". 

"^ Possibly William Hammon, who entered Winchester College 
in 1 561, aged eleven, from St. Dunstan within Temple Bar, London 
(see Kirby, oj). cit. p. 137). 


said he. Then Hammon : ' And with whom didst 
thou lodge at Winchester ? ' 'I used a pubHc 
hostelry,' said the priest. ' Certes, Mundyn,' quoth 
Hammon, 'it must be thy business to go back with 
me.' ' By no means,' saith the other, ' if thou show 
me not first by what authority thou dost this thing. I 
know indeed that thou boldest a magistracy in the 
county of Dorset, but here hast no jurisdiction. As 
there I recognize a keeper of public peace, here I see 
only a private citizen.' * So be it,' quoth Hammon ; 
* thou shalt well perceive that I lack not authority 
to apprehend thee even here.' And so, having no 
means of resisting nor yet of escaping so great a multi- 
tude of men, he was taken and brought back as far as 
Staines, the magistrate of which town wrote at once 
to Wolley, the Latin Secretary, who, on the next day, 
caused him to be brought before Walsingham, the 
Secretary of State. 

*' Walsingham, therefore, put many questions to 
the priest, as is customary — (now, at his examina- 
tion were present Lord Grey and many others) — 
in what place he received holy orders ? whether he 
was of a Seminary ? who had sent him back to Eng- 
land ? who had paid the expenses of his return ? To 
all of which he replied : That he had received sacred 
orders at Rome ; that he was not of a Seminary ; 
that he had returned to England of his own free will, 
and that concerning money for the future, he had 
scarce considered the question. Then Walsingham 
with a great outburst of words — such was ever the 
wont of the raging chief magistrate, of his own 
accord and without occasion given — inveighed against 


the Seminarists, and against a certain book, being 
the New Testament, translated word for word into 
English, which said book had lately been completed 
by them in accordance with a prescript of the Council 
of Trent, and vehemently accused them of want of 
skill both in history and in foreign tongues. 

" The good priest, despairing of his ability to quell 
this whirlwind of language, kept prudent silence, 
fearing also, (as he afterwards ingenuously con- 
fessed,) not death, but that awful torture of the rack, 
harsher than all forms of death. Then the Secretary, 
taking his silence ill, proceeded to those bloody 
questions, which are, as it were, a sacred formula 
never addressed but to victims already destmed to 

" In the first place, he asked what he thought of 
Nicholas Sander, his famous landing in Ireland ? 
' I know nought of his coming thither,' he replied, 

* and so 'tis not clear to my mind, whether he did 
well or ill. Let himself answer to it.' 

" Then the Secretary : ' If the Pope,' quoth he, 

* or some other prince should invade this kingdom, 
what wouldst thou do, or what in thine opinion 
should a good citizen do ? And what thinkest thou 
of this matter, whether the Pope can deprive the 
Queen of all right to the throne ? ' To this Mundyn ": 
' I beseech thee,' quoth he, ' most noble lord, an it 
please thee, force not these questions upon me. No 
theologian am I : only the civil law have I studied 
awhile, and so being but little versed in these 
matters, I know not at all what reply I should give.' 

" Walsingham then asked him of the Queen, 


whether he held her to be the true Queen of Eng^- 
land, and when Mundyn answered * yea,' he asked 
him again whether he held her as true Queen of Eng- 
land both de jure and de facto ? 'I understand not 
sufficiently,' said Mundyn, ' what these terms may 

" * What, accursed traitor ! ' cried Walsingham, 
* dost refuse to answer me this ? ' And therewith 
he suddenly dealt his face so violent a blow with 
his fist, that the poor man lost his wits and stood all 
astonished, reeling to and fro, nor could for a time 
remember where he was, and afterwards for many 
days complained that he heard on both sides with 
greater difficulty than was his wont. Then, coming 
to himself, he felt such consolation of divine power, 
such courage and such strength, that, quite forget- 
ting all the sorrow and sadness of his former ills, 
he became wholly glad and cheerful, and desired 
nothing so much as that he might suffer somewhat 
for the manifestation of Christ's glory. 

*' Having thus carried off the prize in the first con- 
flict, the Secretary, on pleasure bent, hurled against 
him many taunts and revilings utterly unworthy of a 
chief magistrate, and then summoned an official who 
performed a messenger's functions, called a pursui- 
vant, and bade him conduct the priest to the Tower 
of London, and to take his horse with all its trap- 
pings as a reward for his pains. ^ 

^ The Tower Bills in the Record Office give 12 February, 
1583, as the date of his committal {C./^.S. iii. 14, 15). The 
Diarium Turns says that he was taken to the Tower on i^ 
February and loaded with iron fetters for twenty days. 


" Having come thither, the holy man was thrown 
into that small prison-house called Broad Arrow 
Tower. There he was at once laden with iron 
fetters, and for some time spent his nights on the 
bare stone floor. Being brought forth thence pub- 
licly on a day, he was taken to Popham to be 
examined of him anew : and in that place many 
things were said against him, but this in chief, 
that in his own country he had led an unclean 
life, and therefor was ill-esteemed among his neigh- 

" This charge owed what likelihood it had simply 
to the words of msn whom none would believe on 
their oaths. Natheless Mundyn, returned to his 
prison, was so sore afflicted thereat that signs of 
unwonted sadness marked his face : which, when one 
of his fellow-prisoners, himself a priest, noted, he 
asked what had rendered him full of thought and 
sadness beyond his use. Then Mundyn told him 
all that had happened in order, and how beside the 
other crimes, which rested on no foundation at all, 
they had falsely charged him with incontinence, and 
how he bore this ill, for the charge being noised 
abroad among the people, a great blot of shame 
would result not to himself alone but also to all 
his fellow-captives lawfully contending for the faith, 
and so to the most chaste and pure cause of the 
Catholic religion." The other priest, being more ad- 
vanced in years and more experienced in life, and, 
as Mundyn's confessor, well aware that he was a 
good servant of Christ, free from all this kind of 
guilt, was able by reasoning and examples to console 



him, and after giving a summary of the confessor's 
arguments the account continues : — 

"With these words and others to the like purport 
the pious confessor so freed Mr. Mundyn's soul from 
all the scruple that he had felt (lest he had brought 
shame on Catholics) that thereafter he enjoyed a 
wonderful calmness of spirit and easily despised 
whatever treacherous men said against him ". 

Father Pollen has abstracted the record of the 
trial of John Mundyn and John Nutter as follows : — ^ 

" Indictment, found on Wednesday (Feb. 5) next 
after the eve of the Purification B.V.M., at Queen's 
Bench, Westminster, viz. that John Mundyn, William 
Tedder, John Nutter and Samuel Conyers, all late of 
London, clerics, on the 20th of July, 24 Elizabeth 
(1582), at Rheims in Champaigne and in other places, 
and on other days before and after, conspired, etc., 
to deprive the Queen and to bring her to death, to 
raise sedition, to cause slaughter and rebellion, to 
subvert the government of the Kingdom, and the 
sincere religion of God established in the same ; (2) 
and also treated together of ways and means ; (3) 
and afterwards on i August, 24 Eliz., they agreed 
to come to England ; (4) and afterwards on i Octo- 
ber they left Rheims for the aforesaid purposes. 

** Precept to the Sheriff to bring them up -for trial. 

" Thursday next after the eve of the Purification 

^ C./^.S. V. 51. As Father Pollen observes: "Mundyn, 
Tedder, Nutter and Conyers are said to have left on the ist of 
October ; they did in fact depart on the 6th of August, the 13th 
of November, ^nd the tWQ last together on the 24th of November, 
J 582", 


(Feb. 6). Mundyn appears at Queen's Bench, West- 
minster, under the custody of Sir Owen Hopton, 
Lieutenant of the Tower, and Nutter under that of 
George Carey, Knight Marshal of the Queen's Mar- 
shalsea, into whose custody they had previously been 
committed. They are demanded statim and severally 
how they will be tried, and severally answer that they 
are Not Guilty. 

'' The Jury come on Friday after the eve of the 
Purification (Feb. 7), and the same day is given to 
John Nutter and John Mundyn aforesaid. 

** On which day the Jury say upon their oaths that 
they are Guilty, and that they have no goods or 

"The Queen's Serjeant prays for sentence. 

" The Court, having seen and understood all, in the 
presence of the Queen's Serjeant and Attorney give 
sentence as usual for high treason. 


So little did any one believe that they had really 
conspired against the Queen that Stow says they 
were condemned for having been ordained beyond 
the sea by the Pope's authority, oblivious of the fact 
that the statute 27 Eliz. c. 2 was not passed at this 

To resume the narrative of the Concertatio : — 

"On the 6th of February [1583-4], Mr. Mundyn 
was brought to trial and condemned to death, to- 
gether with some others, for having conspired against 
the life of the Queen (as 'twas pretended) both at 
Rome and at Rheims. 

" When he heard the sentence of death, then with 


a very joyous and calm countenance he recited with 
those others that were to share his holy martyrdom, 
that great hymn of SS. Ambrose and Augustine, Te 
Deum laudamus, Te Dominum confitemur : for at once 
he felt so great and so unwonted a cheerfulness of 
spirit, that, as if he had already laid aside the heavy 
burden of the body, he could not but testify, in face 
and voice and the whole carriage of his person, the 
joy that was poured out through the inner man. 

" From that time onward he showed no sign of 
sadness, but to his last breath remained wholly joy- 
ous and merry. For, presently after the sentence 
was passed, when he was being led back to prison, 
not far from Westminster Hall he met his sister's 
son, and some others, eager abettors of his cause, 
now utterly cast down at his afflicted fortunes : he 
saw also many, on this side and on that, who could 
not content themselves with the disaster of a shame- 
ful death which he was soon to undergo, but must 
needs rail at him and mock him. But the blessed 
martyr, truly following in the footsteps of Jesus 
Christ, passed on through the midst of them, and 
neither was moved by the mourning of his friends to 
relax aught of his priestly dignity, nor seemed ever 
to lend an ear to the mad cries of his foes ; being all 
full of joy and all, as it were, drunk with a foretaste 
of the wine of the banquet at which he was soon to 
be a guest. To his nephew and friends, however, he 
spoke a few words, so instinct with the unction of 
consolation received from on high, that they who 
came weeping returned to their families cheered, in 
such wondrous wise that others, who shared in their 


grief, became in their turn partakers with them of 
the divine consolation. 

'* Then, when he had come near to the Tower, many 
of those who had remained at home and had not 
been present at the Courts, when they saw him 
transported beyond the rest with unaccustomed joy, 
both themselves rejoiced greatly, and congratulated 
their friend in such wise as they could, thinking it 
certain that by the sentence of the judges he had 
been set free. So little could men, in whom flesh 
and blood were yet strong, comprehend his triumph, 
the triumph of one already dead. 

" The day before he suffered, about eventide, (at 
which time, as the shadows deepen, the thought of 
impending evils is wont to deepen too, especially 
when men are lonely and lack all human comfort,) 
the good father mentioned above anxiously ap- 
proached the blessed man to console a son whom 
he expected to find utterly bowed down beneath the 
weight of evil, and to strengthen him by his pious 
exhortations to face the struggle that awaited him. 
But when he came to him he found no sign at all 
either of sorrow or of fear ; but rather so saturated 
was he with the sweetness of interior consolation, 
that he needed not such exterior fomentation as 
words could supply. Thus the father who came at 
eve a consoler, went away next morning greatly 
consoled himself, lamenting but one thing that he 
was not to be a comrade to his son on his sacred 
way and in his last agony. 

** On the next day, the 13th ^ of February, which 

^ Stow and other authorities, correctly it would seem, say the 12th. 


was to be the blessed man's first day of life and last 
of death, he came forth from his chamber in the 
morning to be led to the place of execution/ and as 
he paused a little on the way waiting for the other 
four priests who were to share his martyrdom, an 
old woman, who was present, addressing the priest, 
could not restrain herself from crying aloud, * O 
that mine were the happiness that my soul might 
be where thy soul will be in a few hours' space ! ' 
Whereat tears came into the eyes of the man of 
God, betraying the tenderness of his heart. And 
now the other prisoners had arrived, and one by one 
they were delivered by the governor of the Tower, 
as the custom is, into the custody of the sheriff of 
the county, that punishment might be taken of them 
according to the sentence of the judges. Then the 
official executioner in the sheriffs train at once asked 
which of them was Mundyn, and when he answered, 
* I am he,' * Miscreant,' quoth he, * I will treat thee 
as thou deservest ' ; and having made many railing 
accusations against him, and chiefly that he was the 
corrupter of high-born youths, and especially of those 
that had been entrusted to his teaching, (whom cer- 
tainly he had brought from the filthy conventicles of 
heretics to the Catholic Church, the holy and im- 
maculate Bride of Christ,) he bound his sacred hands 
together with the utmost barbarity, and laid him 
bound on a hurdle and drew him along the ground 
to the gallows. There, after he had seen the other 
priests bravely striving for the Catholic Faith and 
gaining at length the victory, last of all he himself 

^ Tyburn. 


began the fight, having them in turn spectators of 
his conflict and faithful witnesses in heaven : and 
when, fighting with equal constancy and faith he 
had overcome the gibbet and the noose, the knife 
and the axe, and all the machinery of barbaric cruelty 
and butchery, and when the testimony of his noble 
deed had been received by earth and heaven, he 
passed away to a perpetual triumph, wherein they 
too have a share, in Jesus Christ the King and the 
Rewarder of Martyrs to whom be all honour and 
glory. Amen." 

The frontispiece of the fifth volume of the Catholic 
Record Society is a facsimile of a letter written by 
John Mundyn '' the next night before his Martyrdom 
to his cousin Duche," probably the venerable martyr 
Edward Duke. 

As printed literatim by Father Pollen,^ it runs as 
follows : — 

" Cosyn Duche, I am now warnid to prepare 
against to morrow to go to dye, and yit I hope in 
Jesus Christ to live to for ever, & having almost for- 
gotten you and others my frindes, was like to have 
passid you in sylence. But I pray you make my 
humble commendations first and espicially to my 
good Mr, and my onely patrone, M^ Hyde,^ secondly 
to that good Dr : M^ Farnam ^ the sweetest man in 

^ C.R.S. V. xvi. 

"Dr. Thomas Hyde, his old head-master at Winchester, as to 
whom see D.N.B. xxviii. 401. 

^ Robert Farnham (who entered Winchester College from 
Drempton, Dorset, aged twelve, in 1550, became Fellow of New 
College, 1555, and B.C.L. in 1561, and was deprived in 1562), 
resided in Paris in 1580. 


Christendome to live with all, thirdly and so lastly 
to Mr President/ M^ Bayly,^ M^ Rainolds,^ and all 
other my good frindes desiering them all most hartely 
to pray for me, and if I dyd ever offend any of them 
that they will forgive me & so I comitt you to God, 
desiering that we may have to geather a ioyfull re- 
surrection, with my harty comedations byddinge you 
fare well for ever in this worlde 

*' Your loving frynd and cosyn, 


To this Dr. Richard Barrett, Vice-President of the 
College at Rheims, has added the note, *' This letter 
was wrytten the next night before his martyrdome ". 

J. B. W. 

Authorities. — Examination of John Chapman, C.R.S. v. 31. 
Bridgewater, Concertatio, 140 sqq. Diary of English College, 
Rome, Foley, vi. iii. 146. Douay Diaries, 172, 189. Henry 
Holland's Relation, Challoner, Appendix. Indictment, C.R.S. 
V. 51. Diarium Turris. Challoner, i. 156-60. Yepez, Hist. 
Part. 492-7. 

^Dr. Allen (D.N.B. i. 314). 

2 Dr. Thomas Bayley {D.N.B. ii. 432). 

-William Rainolds {D.N.B. xlvii. 182). 



Lancaster^ 20 April, 1584. 

A SPECIAL interest attaches to this martyr inasmuch 
as he is one of the very few Marian priests who were 
executed for the faith, though many suffered im- 

He was born at Warrington in Lancashire about 
1520 and completed his studies at Oxford. If, as is 
most probable, he was a member of the University no 
record of his academic career has been preserved. 
The particulars given by Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, 
1500-17 14 (i. 103) apply to James Bell, a Protestant 
Prebendary of Wells who died in 1596. (See also 
D.N.B. ii. 164). He was ordained priest in Queen 
Mary's reign, but when the change of religion came 
under Elizabeth he unhappily had not the courage 
to become a confessor of the faith, but continued 
for more than twenty years to act as an Anglican 
minister in different parts of England. It is a 
singular fact, having regard to the great dearth of 
clergymen, that he never obtained a benefice ; and 
one may hope that he still retained some scruples of 



conscience, which prevented him from accepting 
even a nominal cure of souls. This is confirmed 
by the statement in the early account of his con- 
version, apprehension and martyrdom, where he is 
described as '* being in part a Catholic, and not 
minded to serve at any parish church or other place 
of greater charge ". At the age of sixty, having no 
other means of subsistence and being in failing 
health he returned to his native county of Lanca- 
shire, where he tried to obtain the chaplaincy of a 
certain chapel without the cure of souls. There for 
a very small stipend he would only be required to 
read the English service, and thus would be able to 
secure a poor living for his old age. To obtain this 
post he applied to the wife of the gentleman who 
had the nomination to the readership. She was a 
Catholic, and knowing him to be a priest, she 
earnestly exhorted him to abandon his project and 
return to the Church. " She put him in mind that 
he was made priest to say Mass and to minister the 
sacraments after the Catholic use and manner in the 
unity of the Catholic Church." At first her exhor- 
tations had little effect, but he soon fell ill and had 
leisure on his sick-bed to reflect on his friend's advice. 
She visited him in his sickness and continued her 
persuasions with such effect that at length he re- 
solved to abandon his schismatical life and to re- 
sume his ministry as a Catholic priest. Within a few 
hours of this resolution the lady brought to him a 
priest who reconciled him to the Church. On his 
recovery he proved the truth of his conversion by 
devoting himself to several months of severe penance. 


He again set himself to learn the recitation of the 
Office and the forgotten ceremonies of the Mass, and 
after some months he yv^as allowed once more to offer 
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

During the years 1582 and 1583 he acted as a 
missionary priest, devoting himself with zeal to 
labour among the poorer classes of Catholics. At 
length, as he was traveUing on foot from one CathoHc 
house to another, he had occasion to inquire his way 
to a certain town. Unfortunately the wayfarer whom 
he asked happened to be a spy, and suspecting the 
old man to be a priest he asked him whence he came 
and whither he was going. On the martyr's refusal 
to tell him, the spy asked him what he was, and 
received the straightforward reply that he was a 
priest. Immediately arresting him the spy carried 
him before a Justice of the Peace, to whom Mr. Bell 
repeated his confession, adding that very lately he 
had received authority to hear confessions and to 
absolve, and that the same authority came from the 
Pope. When required to attend the Protestant 
church he utterly refused, lamenting bitterly that for 
so many years he had said or heard their schis- 
matical service. Accordingly he was sent to Man- 
chester where he was imprisoned. His arrest took 
place in January, 1584 (N.S.), and his name occurs in 
the list of five priests who were brought before the 
ecclesiastical commissioners in January and February 
of that year. While in prison he was frequently 
examined as to his own reconciliation and that of 
others, the supremacy of the Pope and the spiritual 
claims of the Queen, the bull of excornrnunication 


and similar points. His answers have not been re- 
corded, but he was so resolute that he was sent to 
the Lancaster General Sessions to be tried at the 
Lent assizes. He was taken there on horseback, 
his arms being pinioned and his legs bound under 
the horse. On arrival at Lancaster he was again 
examined before two justices named Huddleston and 
Parker. On Wednesday, i8 April, 1584, he was in- 
dicted and arraigned with Venerable John Finch, a 
layman, and two other priests, Thomas Williamson 
and Richard Hatton. 

When the four prisoners were brought to the bar 
they were charged with affirming the Pope to be head 
of the Catholic Church and that part of the Church 
which is in England. As Mr. Bell was deaf he did 
not hear all that was said to him, so, as he did not 
always reply, the Judge and others thought that his 
constancy was failing. Accordingly, on the following 
day, after examining John Finch, they called him to 
the bar and tried to terrify him into submission. 
Standing among thieves and murderers he heard 
unmoved their description of the manner of death in 
store for him. Finally they asked him whether he 
had been reconciled or not. He admitted the fact. 
" Oh, that is High Treason." "It is nothing else 
than the Holy Sacrament of Penance," he replied. 
One of the Judges asked : " Hast thou authority to 
reconcile?" "I have authority," he answered, " to 
absolve from sins." "What, canst thou forgive 
sins?" "Aye, that I can, to him that will confess 
his sins and be truly penitent for them." This 
provoked the merriment of the Court, whereon the 


martyr said : " Why, I forgive not sins by mine 
own power, but because I am a priest and so have 
authority to absolve from sins". And then, con- 
tinues the account of the trial, "they laughed and 
scorned as though the good old man had answered 
absurdly, and would not suffer him to declare his 
authority more at large ". 

The Judge then asked him whether the Queen were 
supreme governor in all causes in England, as well 
ecclesiastical as temporal. "No," he replied, *' for 
she hath not to judge in spiritual causes and matters 
of faith ; but the Pope is to deal in those matters, 
and under him bishops and priests." Then came 
the fateful question : " Whose part wouldst thou take, 
if the Pope or any other by his authority should 
make wars against the Queen ? " " We ought," said 
the martyr, " to take part with the Church of God 
for the CathoHc religion." This was enough and the 
Judge called the other two priests whose answers 
were equally staunch, but who seem to have made 
some reservation as to temporal authority, for the 
Judge drew a distinction between them and Finch 
and Bell. " You are rank traitors too, and do deserve 
to be hanged as well as the rest ; for you deny the 
one half of her Majesty's right, but these other 
traitors do deny her all." The jury brought in a 
verdict of guilty against all four, but the Judge again 
distinguished between them in his sentence, for 
whereas he sentenced James Bell and John Finch to 
death, he sentenced the others to loss of goods and 
perpetual imprisonment as in the case of pr^munire, 
fgr denying for the first time the Queen's authority 


in causes spiritual. Owing to his deafness Mr. Bell 
did not understand which sentence applied to him, 
but one of the sheriff's men repeated his doom, 
whereon the martyr thanked God very cheerfully, 
and turning to the Judge said : " I beseech you, my 
Lord, for the love of God, add also to your former 
sentence that my lips may be pared and my fingers' 
ends cut off, wherewith I have heretofore sworn and 
subscribed to heretical articles and injunctions, both 
against my conscience and the truth ". 

The executions were fixed for the following day 
and the two martyrs spent the night together in 
prayer and meditation and endeavours to convert the 
other condemned prisoners to the Catholic faith. 
The priest heard his companion's confession and so 
they prepared to meet their death. When morning 
dawned our martyr blessed God and thanked Him, 
saying : " O blessed day, O the fairest day that ever I 
saw in my life ". When a minister there present ad- 
dressed him he asked him not to trouble him, " for I 
will not believe thee, nor hear thee, but against my 

When he was taken off the hurdle at the place of 
execution, they made him look at Ven. John Finch 
who was being quartered. As the martyr looked on 
the sight he exclaimed : " Oh, why do I tarry so long 
behind my sweet brother ; let me make haste after 
him. This is a most happy day." And so he began 
his prayers, interceding both for all Catholics and for 
the conversion of all others. 

These two martyrs were the first of those who 

suffered at Lancaster, 

E. H. B, 


Authorities. — There is practically but one source of in- 
formation, though it exists in different forms. This is the ac- 
count of the Martyr's Conversion, Apprehension and Martyr- 
dom printed four years after his death in the Concertatio, and 
written probably by an eye-witness of the trial. English trans- 
lations with slight variations exist, (i.) Westminster Archives, iii. 
364, and (ii.) Stonyhurst MSS., Anglia, i. No. 20. These have 
been printed in Catholic Record Society, vol. v. pp. 74 sqq. The 
account in Yepez is a Spanish translation of the same. Chal- 
loner's account is an abbreviation of the Concertatio ; Diet. 
Nat. Biog. ; Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. 




Lancaster, 20 April, 1584. 

The chief authorities for the life of this martyr are 
the Stonyhurst MS. printed by Father Pollen in his 
English Martyrs, 1584- 1603 (C.R.S. v. 78-88), and the 
account in Bridgewater's Concertatio, which clearly 
have a common origin. Where they differ, the Stony- 
hurst MS. can be shown to be the more correct. 
Space does not permit more than a summary of these 
twin authorities, with the necessary additions from 
other sources. 

Born about 1548 in the parish of Eccleston, in 
Lancashire, John Finch is said to have had " honest 
and wealthy" parents, but is himself variously de- 
scribed as a yeoman and a husbandman.^ At the 
age of twenty he went up to London, where some 
cousins of his were students at the Inner Temple,^ 

^ Foley Records, Eng. Prov., S.J., ii. (London, 1875), ^3^> 

''Their name was not Finch. The only Finch who was a 
member of the Inner Temple about this time was Richard Finch 
of Faversham, Kent, admitted as a student there in 1555 {Students 



who he hoped would find him some congenial employ*- 
ment ; but after a year there, he returned home, and 
married a virtuous young woman, who had a farm of 
her own. Not many years afterwards he was recon- 
ciled to the Church, and thereafter, not content with 
frequent confessions and communions, and assistance 
at Mass and catechism, he made it his special care to 
guide priests from one Catholic house to another, and 
to "persuade the meaner and simpler sort in the 
necessary points and articles of the Catholic religion ". 
His arrest was eventually effected about Christmas, 
1580, by means of a pretended Catholic, who had 
married a discarded mistress of the Earl of Derby. 
This man persuaded Finch that it would be desirable 
to bring two or more Catholic priests into the neigh- 
bourhood, '' to church some wives, to hear confessions, 
to say Mass, to preach, and to confer with some (as 
he falsely pretended) which were desirous to be 
Catholics and to be reconciled " ; but, as it was so 
important a festival, all Catholic priests were fully 
occupied in other places, and Finch could only get 
one, Mr. George Ostliffe or Ostcliffe,^ at the time. 

admitted to the Inner Temple^ 1 547-1660 (London, 1877) P« 
25, who in 1568 had, doubtless, long been called to the bar. He 
was probably second son to Ralph Finch of Kingsdown, Kent 
(^HaH. Soc. Pub. xlii. 1 5). 

^ Of York diocese {Douay Diaries (London, 1878), 9), or- 
dained subdeacon at Rheims, 14 March, 1579 {ibid. 151). He 
said his first Mass, i May, 1579 {ibid. 153), and was sent on the 
mission, 27 February following {Jibid. 261, 291). In June, 1586, 
he is said to have been five years in prison for the faith {ibid. 
211). He, and another priest, John Lowe, were exiled from 



Later on he hoped to bring Bl. Lawrence Richardson, 
vere Johnson, and others, if there should be any need 
of them. The traitor thought one certain priest 
better than a problematical two or three. So his 
wife sent her glove, a preconcerted signal, to the 
Earl of Derby, who immediately rode down with a 
few retainers, and before daybreak arrested both the 
priest and Finch. 

Immediately after this arrest, the authorities spread 
a rumour that Finch himself was the betrayer of the 
priest, and also that he had divulged the names of 
many local Catholics whom he had seen at sermons 
or Mass. To give an appearance of probability to 
this calumny, which did not meet with much accept- 
ance either from Catholics or from Protestants, they 
would not send him to any prison, but kept him in the 
Earl's house, in such a manner that no Catholic or 
suspected person could have access to him, '* and 
thus daily they raised and fathered new slanders upon 
him ; for whatsoever they could learn by any other 
means or probably conjecture of the Catholics* doings, 
they would give out still that John Finch had be- 
wrayed and revealed the same ". 

All the time that he was in the Earl's house, the 
authorities tried every means to shake his steadfast- 
ness. " Sometimes they would set him in the stocks, 
otherwhiles threaten him with torments, often charge 
him with treasons. Then they would put him in 
mind of the lack and misery his wife and family should 

Lancaster Castle in 1585 {tdz'd. 13). He arrived at the English 
College at Rheims 14 August, 1586 {th'd. 212), and left 25 July, 
1587 {tdtd. 216). 


sustain through his constancy." At other times they 
tried to bribe him with promises of great rewards and 
preferment, if he would disclose all he knew, or even 
if he would go to church, or, at least, if he would not 
deny their assertion, if they said that he had pro- 
mised to go to church. The Earl himself frequently 
tried his prisoner both by threats and blandishments ; 
but Finch held firm. It was, he said, with him a 
matter of conscience. " The Pope's Holiness is head 
of the whole Church of God throughout the world, 
and it is impossible for any woman or layman to be 
head of any part thereof in spiritual causes." Where- 
upon the Earl " up with his fist, and gave the poor 
man a great blow upon the face, adding thereto many 
rough and opprobrious words," all of which Finch took 
most patiently. 

As he continued obdurate, he was removed, prob- 
ably after about a year's imprisonment in the Earl's 
house, to the New Fleet at Salford, where there were 
many other Catholic prisoners, and of which Robert 
Worsley was the keeper. 

On 28 February, 1581-2, the Overseers of Salford 
Jail wrote to the Council that it was unlikely that 
any of the recusants there imprisoned would be 
brought to conformity unless a preacher were to be 
appointed for that purpose, and on the following 11 
April they state that they had appointed one to read 
at their meal times a chapter of the Bible, but that 
some of the said recusants, especially John Finch 
and Thurstan Arrowsmith, both described as '' hus- 
bandmen," had very contemptuously disturbed the 
reader. On the following 13 May they report that 


Finch, Arrowsmith, and John Burgh, schoolmaster, 
had not only obstinately refused to hear the chapter 
appointed to be read at their meal times, but had 
also abstained from coming to meals at all, till one 
of the recusants themselves, by name Ralph Worsley, 
gentleman, had agreed to read the chapter, after 
which all the recusants had attended, and they con- 
clude by repeating their request for a preacher to be 
appointed. The same request is reiterated in a 
letter dated 13 October, 1582 (C.R.S. v. 23-25). We 
know however that the reason for Finch's attendance 
at meals was not the fact that the chapter was read 
by Ralph Worsley, but that he had been advised by 
one of the priests who were imprisoned with him that 
he might safely do so, since his intention was merely 
to take his meals, and not to hear heresy either read 
or taught, especially as he protested that he abhorred 
all false translations of Scripture, and detested all 
heretical doctrine whatsoever. Eventually the Scrip- 
ture reading was discontinued, and it does not appear 
that a special preacher was ever appointed. 

Finch was still in the Fleet in September, 1583, 
and on i October in that year various witnesses de- 
posed that during the preceding month Finch had 
said : (i) " That he was a papist and would stand to it 
and never deny the same ; " (2) *' That Campion died 
for religion and not for treason, and that he loved him 
better than any man in the world ; " (3) " That one 
that was executed at York, a priest, not naming the 
man, was executed for Religion, and might have had 
his life, if he would have forsaken his religion," and 
(4) " If we had the upper hand of them, as they have 


of US, they should die every one of them ". Finch 
refused to be put on his oath or to make any deposi- 
tion, but did not " deny any witnesses ". 

Shortly after this date, as he was unable any 
longer to bear the heavy charges of the Fleet, he was 
moved to the House of Rogues, or House of Correc- 
tion. From this prison " they drew him to the 
church with such fury and barbarous cruelty as 
though they had drawn a beast to the slaughter, 
haling him by the heels through the streets upon the 
stones in such sort that his head was very sore 
wounded, and all the stones besprinkled with his 
blood " ; after which " they thrust him into a deep, 
dark, cold, and stinking dungeon, which was in the 
midst of a bridge," where "they pinched him with 
extreme hunger, feeding him on fishdays with sodden 
beans only, and upon other days with small pieces 
of beasts' livers, and they would be sure to give little 
enough of both". At last, on 12 November, 1583, 
he was brought before the Bishop of Chester and two 
others at Manchester College, whom he petitioned to 
send him back to the House of Correction ; but, on his 
refusing to answer questions as to the Queen and 
the Church except by professing that he believed as 
the Catholic Church taught on these as on other 
matters, he was sent back to his dungeon. At a 
later interview he appears to have consented to go to 
church, and, in point of fact, he did go to the parish 
church of Manchester on 27 November for morning 
prayer. The next day, as the Bishop relates, very 
early in the morning he asked permission of his 
keeper to "go to an house of office standing by 


the river side, into the which after he was entered 
he shut the door, and there stripped himself stark 
naked (his keeper walking to and fro by the door) 
whose back being turned he rushed out of the door 
very violently and leaped down a high rock into 
the river saying, * Yesjterday I damned my soul, and 
to-day I will destroy my body,' but by hue and cry 
and concourse of good neighbours he was saved from 
that danger". His biographer, however, doubts 
whether suicide was his intention, and thinks it more 
probable that he acted as he did as a penance, ** for 
that, being in the water, he stood still upon his feet, 
the greatest part of his body being in the water, but 
his head dry and not once touched with any water at 
all, and there he continued still without moving, until 
they drove him out with stones, using no other 
means or violence to get him out ". 

After this he was sent back to the dungeon on the 
bridge and treated with even greater harshness than 
before ; but was so filled with spiritual consolation 
that he thirsted every day more and more for martyr- 
dom, and often prayed fervently that he might be 
made worthy to follow in the footsteps of James Lay- 
burne, who had been put to death in the same county, 
22 March, 1582-3.^ " Especially upon Passion Sun- 
day, which was the next day before the sessions 
began^ when he had heard that three priests 2 were 

' C.R.S. V. 66 ; Acts of English Martyrs (London, 1891), 

''James Bell, the martyr, with Thomas Williamson and 
Richard Hatton. These last were taken 17 January, 1582-3, 


sent to Lancaster, there to be arraigned for religion, 
... he lamented much that he was left behind," 
and " besought his keeper to move his suit, that he 
might go to Lancaster to the Assize," whereupon he 
was immediately brought before the Bishop of Chester. 
On being asked what he thought of the Bull of St. 
Pius V, Finch answered roundly that if Pius V had 
excommunicated the Queen, she was indeed excom- 
municated, and that justly too, as he thought. So 
upon the Monday morning he was set upon an un- 
saddled horse, with his arms pinioned, and his legs 
tied under the horse's belly, and was thus taken to 
Preston, twenty or twenty-four miles off, where he 
was lodged for the night in a cold, loathsome, and 
stinking prison called the Kidcote, recently so be- 
fouled by filthy prisoners that he had to spend the 
whole night standing and without sleep. Thence 
early next morning he was taken in the same manner 
to Lancaster, another twenty miles on, and was there 
thrust into solitary confinement in a narrow cell. 
Within two hours of his arrival, before he had taken 
either sleep or food, he was brought before Randall 
Huddlestone, and Brian Parker, Justices of the Peace, 
and Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical, and 
begged them for delay before they should question 
him on the ground that he was too tired to answer 
properly. This request was not granted. " Then he 
desired that he might have the articles (whereunto 
he should answer) in writing, and to be allowed pen 

and indicted 22 and 23 January for high treason for extoUing the 
Pope's authority, and condemned in ^240 for twelve months' ab^ 
sence from church, see Foley, o^, cit. 135, and p. l|o above, 


and paper to write his answers with his own hand ; 
whereto they willingly granted. And presently that 
same Tuesday in the evening they gave him the 
articles, and received his answer; the sum whereof 
do[th] follow. 

'' Articles proposed to John Finch ^ with his Answers. 

" I. First, whether he had been beyond the seas at 
any time, namely in any of the Pope's seminaries of 
Englishmen. Answer — * I was never beyond the 

" 2. Where he had been and by whom he had been 
relieved the last six years. Answer — * I have been 
in prison three years and three months [quarters 
cancelled ^ of the six ; the rest I was with my mother. 
And I ought not to reveal such as have bestowed 
any charity upon me.' 

'* 3. What priests know you, and what be their 
names ; where do they remain, and whither do they 
resort ? Answer — ' I am not bound, neither is it 
lawful to answer to this question.' 

**4. Have you ever been conversant with seminary 
priests or with Jesuits ? Answer — * I have been con- 
versant with some seminary priests, but not with any 
Jesuits, for which I am sorry.' 

*' 5. Are you reconciled ? Answer — ' I trust I am 
reconciled to God and to His Church.' 

" 6. Have you heard Mass; where and how often? 
Answer — * I have heard Mass, I thank God. I may 
not tell where, and I cannot tell how often.' 

"7. What think you of Pius V's bull of excommuni- 

1 The Concertatio follows the erroneous and cancelled reading^. 


cation of the Queen, and whether is it lawful or no? 
Answer — * I have heard sometime of that bull ; but I 
know no certainty thereof, therefore I cannot answer.' 

" 8. Do you take Queen Elizabeth that now reigneth 
to be the lawful queen of this realm or no ? Answer 
— ' I take her to be, and do profess myself her 

" g. Did the Earls of Northumberland and West- 
moreland with the rest of their associates in the North 
take arms and rise lawfully against the prince or no ? 
Answer — * I know not for what cause they rose, nor 
what warrant they had ; and therefore I cannot 
answer. ' 

" 10. Do you take the Queen to be the head of the 
Church of England and Ireland or no? Answer — 

* The Pope's Holiness is head of the whole Church 
in earth ; and it is impossible that the Queen or any 
other woman or layman should be Head of the 

"11. Whose part would you take, if the Pope or any 
other by his authority should make wars against the 
Queen for reforming of religion? Answer— -^li it 
were for religion, then would I take part with the 
Pope and Catholic Church.' 

" 12. Have you been persuaded or have yOu per- 
suaded any other to forsake their allegiance to the 
Queen or no .'^ Answer — 'I was never persuaded, 
nor persuaded any other.' 

** 13. Have you reconciled any or no? Answer — 

* I am not of that high vocation to minister that 

" In the end of his answers he added these 


words : * Whereas I, being a private man, may 
err in these my answers, I refer myself herein and 
in all my doings to the judgement of the Catholic 
Roman Church. 

" * By me, John Finch.' 

" As soon as he had delivered up these answers he 
was returned again to prison." 

The next day, i8 April, being the Wednesday in 
Passion Week,^ the three priests and John Finch 
were arraigned under the Act of Supremacy for having 
** advisedly and maliciously affirmed the Pope and 
Bishop of Rome to have authority and jurisdiction 
in England, and to be head of the Catholic Church 
and that a part of that Church is in England ". All 
admitted that they so believed, but pleaded Not 
Guilty of high treason. On Thursday all four were 
brought to the bar again among thieves and 
murderers ; and first of all John Finch was examined 
by the judges on the bull of St. Pius V, to whose 
questions he answered very resolutely that he would 
follow and obey the Pope in whatsoever he should 
command or appoint to be done, and that he would 
take the Pope's part against whomsoever. 

On the jury finding him guilty Finch with a smil- 
ing countenance gave God thanks, and on being 
sentenced in the form then usual in cases of high 
treason, he recited the first two verses of Psalm 
xxxiii., Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore. 

After sentence he and his fellow-martyr, Ven. James 

^ It should be noted that the date i8 April here is N.S. By 
O.S. the Wednesday in Passion Week was 8 April, 


Bell, were removed to a larger prison, where other 
prisoners under sentence of death were confined : and 
there he made his confession to the aged priest, and 
afterwards received visits from his brother and divers 
others of his kinsfolk and neighbours, who " found 
him so merry in God and so joyful of the next day's 
banquet which he expected, that they were all mar- 
vellously comforted and edified by his rare fortitude ". 

All that night was spent by him (with the appro- 
bation of Father Bell, whose age and infirmities 
prevented him from acting personally) in exhorting 
his fellow-prisoners to return to the bosom of the 
Catholic Church, and do hearty penance for their 
sins ; and his exhortations were not without effect on 

** Upon Friday the 20th day of April 1584 the exe- 
cutioners came at the appointed hour. This blessed 
man most joyfully bid them welcome, and thanked 
God for His infinite and innumerable benefits (especi- 
ally for this death, which now he went to receive) ; 
exhorted all the people to the Catholic faith and to 
good life ; and desired a minister, (who was there to 
persuade him) not to trouble him. * For I am not,' 
quoth he, ' of your religion, neither will I be for any 
thing that you can say. God give you grace to 
amend.' And so used very few words, either upon 
the hurdle or upon the ladder ; but continually 
occupied himself in secret prayers and meditation, 
until by glorious martyrdom his blessed soul forsook 
the body and was made partaker of the everlasting 
and unspeakable joys." 

J. B. W. 


Authorities.— Mar/:yrdom of John Finch^ C.R.S. v. 78. 
Douay Diaries. Proceedings against John Finch, C.R.S. v. 44- 
46. Reports of Overseers of Sal ford Gaol, C.R.S. v. 23. 
A.E.M. 212-221. Bridgewater, Concertatio. See also state- 
ment at the opening of the article. 




Wrexham, 15 October, 1584. 

Richard Gwyn was born at Llanidloes, Mont- 
gomeryshire, about 1537, and belonged to an old 
family long settled there. At the age of twenty he 
went to Oxford, "where he made no great abode," 
and thence removed to St. John's College, Cambridge, 
** where he lived by the charity of the College," and 
chiefly of Dr. George Bullock, the then Master.^ 
When Dr. Bullock was deprived in 1559, Gwyn, who 
had taken the name White while at the University, 
as being the English equivalent of his name, was 
compelled by need and poverty " to become a teacher 
before he could perfectly lay the foundation to be a 
learner," 2 and soon after (apparently in 1562) quitted 
Cambridge, and set himself up as a schoolmaster, 
first at Overton in Flintshire, then at Wrexham, 

^ As to whom see Diet. Nat. Biog. 

^ The Messrs. Cooper in AthencE Cantabrigienses, i. 494, are 
therefore in error in saying that " he was educated at Christ's 
College, proceeding B.A. 1574-5 and commencing M. A. 1578". 



Denbighshire, then at Gresford, Denbighshire, then 
at a place called Yswyd, and last of all at Overton 
again. '* During this while he so profited by his own 
private study in knowledge of good literature, that it 
was wonder to them that knew him before to see in 
the man so great ripeness from so late a beginning. 
He was not unskilful in most of the liberal sciences, 
and in histories very well seen; but now in his latter 
time he gave his time wholly to the study of divinity : 
as for his knowledge in the Welsh tongue, he was 
inferior to none in his country, whereto he hath left 
to posterity some precedent in writing, eternal 
monuments of his wit, zeal, virtue, and learning." 
The ancient writer is doubtless alluding here to the 
five carols and the Funeral Ode discovered and 
identified by Mr. John Hobson Matthews, translated 
by Mr. David Lloyd Thomas, and printed by Father 
Pollen, English Martyrs, 1584-1603 (C.R.S. v.), 90-9. 
A little before his returning to Overton the second 
time he married a young girl named Catharine, a 
native of the place, by whom he had six children, 
three of whom survived him. It was at Overton 
that his abstention from the Protestant communion 
began to be noticed, and pressure was brought to 
bear on him by Dr. William Downham,^ Bishop of 
Chester, and his officers. " In the end, after some 
troubles, he yielded to their desires, although greatly 
against his stomach, by the earnest persuasion of a 
gentleman (Roger Puleston), who had him then, and 
hath now a great part of that country at command ; 
and lo, by the providence of God, he was no sooner 

^ As to whom see Dic^. Nat. Biog. 


come out of the church but a fearful company of 
crows and kites so persecuted him to his home that 
they put him in great fear of his life, the conceit 
whereof made him also sick in body as he was already 
in soul diseased ; in the which sickness he resolved 
himself (if God would spare him life) to become a 
Catholic, the which good purpose, afterward having 
recovered his health, he performed accordingly," 
being reconciled at the first coming of the Seminary 
Priests to Wales. Shortly after he removed from 
Overton to Erbistock, where he continued to teach in 
an old barn, until he was obliged to leave the neigh- 
bourhood to avoid arrest. Early in 1579 he returned 
to Wrexham, when Hugh Soulley the Vicar, himself 
a priest who had conformed and married, arrested 
him on a Wednesday night. He, however, managed 
to escape before daybreak, and remained at large for 
a year and a half. In July, 1580, as he was going 
into Wrexham one afternoon to take a message for a 
priest, he met a mercer named David Edwards, who, 
although he had no power to arrest him under the 
law as it then stood, ordered him to stop. On White 
refusing, Edwards attacked him with a dagger. 
White then gave his assailant a blow on the head 
with his staff, which brought him to the ground. 
Thinking he had killed the man. White was stupe- 
fied and stood still, until Edwards gave signs of life, 
when he betook himself to flight : but Edwards, 
whose recovery was very rapid, pursued him, shout- 
ing "Stop thief! stop thief!" Some of Edwards's 
servants were cutting hay in a field close b}^ and 
running up surrounded White and took him to the 



mercer's house where both his legs were loaded with 
heavy bolts. Afterwards he was conveyed to the 
Black Chamber (Siambrddu) where he lay on the 
cold ground two days and two nights. Thence he 
was brought before Robert Puleston, Justice of the 
Peace, who after examination sent him to Ruthin 
Jail, ordering him to be very straitly guarded as 
being vehemently suspected of high treason. Accord- 
ingly for the first three months he wore strong hand- 
bolts on his arms, and a huge pair of bolts on both 
heels, which were so placed that he could not lie on 
his side, but, whenever he would sleep, must needs 
lie on his back or his belly. After three months the 
Michaelmas assizes came on, at which White was 
offered a pardon if he would go to church ; but he 
refused, and was sent back to prison. This time the 
jailer, understanding that he had merely a prisoner 
for religion to deal with, remitted some part of his 
former rigour towards him. Two stories are told of 
this period. The one is that John Salusbury, of Rug 
near Corwen, a secret Catholic, happening to pass by 
Ruthin Jail in the company of Dr. Gabriel Goodman,^ 
Dean of Westminster, saw White standing in the 
doorway, and called out to him " O, White, White, 
thou art an unprofitable member of the common- 
wealth !" and returned home sick, and was never 
seen abroad after this word, until he came to be 

The other story is that Ithel Thelwall, M.A., son 
of Simon Thelwall, who afterwards sentenced our 

^ As to whom see D/a. Nat. Biog. 


martyr to death, on beginning his assize sermon was 
suddenly struck dumb in the pulpit. 

Towards Christmas, 1580, the prisoners at Ruthin 
were all removed to Wrexham, where a new jailer 
received White with a great pair of shackles, which 
he was compelled to wear both day and night all the 
year following. At the next assizes, which were held 
at Wrexham in May, 1581, the judge. Sir George 
Bromley, Chief Justice of Chester, ordered White to 
be carried to church by force. This was accordingly 
done, six of the sheriff's men taking him upon their 
shoulders, heels upwards. They then carried him " in 
procession-wise " round the font, and laid him down 
under the pulpit, where a preacher named Thomas 
Jones was waiting for him, but White '' so stirred 
his legs that with the noise of his irons the preacher's 
voice could not be heard". On this Sir George 
ordered him to be set in the stocks in the market- 
place, where he remained from ten a.m. to eight p.m. 
'* vexed all the time with a rabble of ministers". 
Among them was a man with a red nose, who wished 
to dispute concerning the keys of the Church, and 
asserted that the keys were given to him no less than 
to Peter. "There is this difference," said White, 
answering a fool according to his folly, " namely that 
whereas Peter received the keys of the Kingdom of 
Heaven, the keys you received were obviously those 
of the beer-cellar." 

At eight o'clock he was released from the stocks, 
and limped back to jail, followed by the jeering 
laughter of David Edwards. In the meantime an 
indictment was drawn up, charging White with 



brawling during divine service, and a packed jury 
was empanelled. Then White was brought into 
court, but when James Garm, the clerk of assize, 
began to read the indictment such a sudden dimness 
fell upon his eyes, that he had to hand it to another 
clerk to read. Sir George asked him what was the 
matter, and Garm answered : '* I do not know what 
has happened to my eyes, but I cannot see," where- 
unto Sir George replied : "Speak softly, lest the Papists 
make a miracle of that ". In the end White was fined 
a hundred marks. 

The next assizes were held at Denbigh in Septem- 
ber, and on this occasion Sir George Bromley caused 
him to be indicted in seven score pounds for not com- 
ing to church, upon the penal statute of ;£"2o a month, 
then lately enacted. On being asked what he had 
towards the discharge of this double fine, viz. loo 
marks for coming to church, and 200 marks for not 
coming, White replied, " Sixpence," which answer 
threw Sir George into such a rage that he ordered 
that White's legs should in future be laden with two 
pairs of irons. It was at these assizes that John 
Hughes and Robert Morris were first committed to 
the same prison as White. They had formerly been 
imprisoned and had worn irons at the command of 
the Council of the Marches, but had been liberated 
by the President, Sir Henry Sidney,^ on bail of i^ioo 
and £40 respectively. 

The next assizes were held at Wrexham in the 
spring of 1582, and on Friday in the assize-week at 
about four p.m. all three prisoners were ordered into 
1 As to whom see Di'cf. Nat. Biog. 


court, where instead of being put on their trial they 
were expected to listen to the discourse of a Zwin- 
glian minister, the illegitimate son of a priest. Their 
complaint to the judges proving vain, ''they turned 
their speech to the preacher, the one in Latin, the 
other in English, and the third in Welsh, so fast that 
the magistrates were not a little offended at them ". 
At these assizes complaint was made against the 
sheriff, Edward Hughes of the Holt, that he relieved 
the Papist prisoners, and four overseers were ap- 
pointed, of whom the Vicar of Wrexham, Sir Hugh 
SouUey, and David Edwards were two, in order to 
see that no one had access to the prisoners except 
their wives, and that no relief was given them. 
David Edwards continued his persecution of White. 
On one occasion when White was standing at the 
jail door in his irons and holding his infant child in 
his arms, Edwards crossed the road and overthrew 
him backwards on the stones, leaving the print of his 
nails in his face, and endangering the infant's life. 
On another occasion Edwards caused his wife and 
daughter to depose before Jevan Lloyd of Yale that 
White had been seen two flight-shots from the jail, 
though the jailer Coytmor disproved it to their faces, 
affirming that one Jevan Lewis was the man, and not 

The next assizes, Michaelmas, 1582, took place at 
Holt, Denbighshire, and all three prisoners were in- 
dicted for high treason on the perjured evidence of 
Lewis Gronow, of Miriadock, Denbighshire, and 
Robert Clarke, minister of Wrexham, who must have 


been acting as curate to Hugh SouUey ; but it would 
seem that the prosecution broke down. At these 
assizes John Edwards of Chirk, who had been a great 
benefactor to these prisoners, renounced his faith, 
and shortly afterwards suffered a terrible death. The 
Christmas following, the new sheriff, Jevan Lloyd of 
Yale, relieved the four overseers of their office, and 
loaded all three prisoners with heavy irons. 

At the assizes in May, 1583, order was taken for 
their removal to the Council of the Marches, before 
whom two prisoners from Flint Jail were taken at 
the same time, Mr. John Bennet ^ a priest, and Harry 
Pugh a layman. All five were tortured in November 
following at Bewdley and Bridgenorth, being " laid 
in the manacles (a kind of torture at the Council, not 
much inferior to the rack at the Tower of London) ". 

On 27 November, 1583, about seven or eight in the 
morning, White was examined by Richard Atkyns, 
Attorney-General, in Atkyns's own house, touching his 
reconciliation, his having confessed to Mr. Bennet his 
opinion of the Bull of Pope Pius V and other matters. 
On the question of the Bull, White said, " Notwith- 
standing that Bull, (the which I never saw), I believe 
and confirm that she is our lawful Queen ". From 
nine o'clock till dinner time White was being tortured, 
and " bestowed all the time of his torments in con- 
tinual prayer, by craving of God for his tormentors 
mercy and forgiveness, and for himself safe deliver- 
ance from their malice by the merits of Christ Jesus 
His passion ; and this he did with a loud voice. 

^ As to whom see Foley, Records of the English Province^ 
SJ., iv. 497, vii. 49. 


" But the persecutors seemed to be tormented with 
his words, as if they had been possessed ; for they 
never ceased running in and out all the while, mut- 
tering one to another he knew not what. Then he 
fell to pray in silence, and so continued until dinner- 
time without any answer to their demands ; whereat 
the pitiful men . . . took him down, and so left him 
to remain with his manacles until their coming again. 
Immediately after dinner came Sir George Bromley, 
Henry Townsend, Fabian Phillips, William Leighton 
of the Plashe, and Simon Thelwall, Councillors of the 
Marches, Thomas Evans, deputy-solicitor, Thomas 
Sherer,^ Keeper of the Judicial Seal of Montgomery, 
etc., and Examiner before the Council of the Marches, 
and others. After a brief examination the Councillors 
departed, and then Sherer administered further in- 
terrogatories, ending with a threat of further torture, 
but though White remained in the same place with 
his manacles two long hours after, expecting when 
he should be laid in them again, God protected him 
from any further cruelty at that time." 

Soon afterwards White, Hughes, and Morris, were 
sent back to prison at Wrexham : but the spring 
assizes, 1584, were allowed to pass without any steps 
being taken against them. 

Eventually they were arraigned at Wrexham on 
Friday, 9 October,^ and the feast of St. Denis, 
1584, before Sir George Bromley, Chief Justice of 
Chester; Simon Thelwall, Deputy Justice; Piers 

^See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1581-90, at p. 655. 
^The Concertatio wrongly says the nth, which was neither 
a Friday nor St. Denis's Day. 


Owen, Sheriff of the Shire; Dr. EUis[? Price, LL.D.l, 
Roger Puleston, Jevan Lloyd of Yale the deputy of 
the Earl of Leicester, and Owen Brereton, with 
others, assistants. 

On coming into court White crossed himself, for 
which he was mocked and derided by a young man 
named Francis Bromley, a relative of the Chief 
Justice. On their indictment being read to them it 
showed that they were accused of high treason under 
the Act of Supremacy, i Eliz. c. i, and the " statute 
of persuasion," i.e. presumably 23 Eliz. c. i. On 
being asked how they would be tried. White an- 
swered : " We will be tried by you, who are the 
justices of the bench; for you are wise and learned, 
and better able to discern the equity of our cause 
than the simple men of our own country, altogether 
unacquainted with such matters ". No doubt, his 
object was to save the jury from the guilt of his 
blood, but no notice was taken of his request, as was 
inevitable, and a jury was empanelled. Lewis Gronow 
" deposed that the said three prisoners were in hand 
with him on a Sunday in July, an. Dom. 1582, to be- 
come a Papist ; secondly that he had heard them 
also to acknowledge the Bishop of Rome to be 
supreme head of the Church ; thirdly, that he heard 
Richard White in plain terms to affirm the Pope now 
living to have the same authority which Christ gave 
unto Peter". 

Edward Erles " deposed that he heard White re- 
hearse certain rhymes of his own making against mar- 
ried priests and ministers ; secondly that he called the 
Bible a babble ; thirdly that he termed Justice Bromley 


listus y fram : ^ and fourth that he defended the Pope's 
authority ". 

Howell David, John Hughes's cousin, who had 
managed to secure his property, probably by inform- 
ing against him, deposed against White " that he 
heard him complain of this world ; and, secondly, 
affirm that it would not last long ; thirdly, that he 
hoped to see a better world ; and, fourthly, that he 
confessed the Pope's supremacy ". David also gave 
evidence against Hughes, but there is no record of 
any evidence being offered against Morris. 

The prisoners objected that Lewis Gronow had 
been on the pillory for perjury by the procurement 
of Mr. Tudor Probert ; Hughes also asserted that 
Gronow and Erles had received sixteen shillings each 
for their false witness, and the narrator corroborates 
this and says that this money was given them by 
Jevan Lloyd of Yale, the year he was Sheriff. 

After this Thelwall asked various questions with 
a view of showing the jury that all three prisoners 
were obstinate Papists, and then " roved over 
the insurrection in the north, the excommunica- 
tion of Pius V, Story and Felton, Dr. Saunders's 
coming into Ireland, Campion and his fellows, Arden 
and Sommerfield, Francis Throckmorton ; aggravat- 
ing the prisoners to be of one religion with the persons 
before named and recited ". At this point all the 
prisoners protested their innocence. 

Then Sir George Bromley '* appointed the pro- 

^ The [ ? ] justice. The word " fram " is not to be found in 
any Welsh dictionary the present writer has been able to con- 
sult. It is probably a misreading of the MS. 


notary to read the commission from the privy 
council, to the which had subscribed Sir Thomas 
Bromley, lord chancellor ; Sir Harry Sydney, lord 
president of the Marches ; Sir Francis Walsingham, 
the Queen's Principal Secretary; Sir James Croft, 
and others. In the end, being ready to dismiss the 
jury, both judges gave them a new charge again, 
terrifying the simple men with the sight of the com- 
mission from the higher powers. So the jury de- 
parted to the church, where they remained all the 
night following with their keeper, saving that two of 
them, about an hour after their coming, were sent for 
to confer with the judges, to know of them, whom 
they should acquit, and whom they should find guilty, 
as it is reported. The next day after, being Saturday, 
about eight of the clock in the morning, they returned 
with their verdict." White and Hughes were found 
guilty, and Morris was acquitted to his great sorrow. 
White exclaimed '' Non audent aliter dicere propter 
metum ludaeorum ". Whereupon in the absence of 
Sir George Bromley, Thelwall announced that Hughes 
was reprieved, and proceeded to sentence White to 
be put to death on the following Thursday, the 15th. ^ 
As the awful sentence was being pronounced on him. 
White did not change countenance, but when it was 
ended, said : " What is all this ? Is it any more than 
one death?" Last of all, Mrs. White and Mrs. 
Hughes appeared, each carrying a baby. Thelwall 
besought them not to follow the ways of their dis- 
obedient husbands ; but Mrs. White replied : *' If 

1 The Co7icertatio wrongly says he was executed on the 1 7th. 


you lack blood, you may take my life as well as my 
husband's ; and if you will give the witnesses a little 
bribe, you may call them ; they will bear evidence 
against me as well as they did against him ". Both 
women were thereupon sent to jail, but shortly after- 
wards released on bail. '* 

The English narrative gives many examples of the 
cheerful pleasantries with which White delighted all 
who heard him from the first moment of his coming 
to the bar down to the moment when the executioner 
was putting the rope round his neck. They show 
the man to have been as merry in his martrydom as 
was B. Thomas More ; but space does not permit of 
their being set out here. One of them turns on a 
play of words in Welsh, another is in dog Latin ; 
and, sooth to say, they do not seem very witty to a 
modern reader. One example must suffice. The 
witness Gronow being very deaf, and the Judge hav- 
ing to raise his voice in speaking to him, White re- 
marked that " he should better hear than any in that 
assembly, having so many holes in his ears". 

On Tuesday, 13 October, *' a gentleman in the 
sheriff's name offered to discharge him of all his 
troubles, if he would acknowledge the Queen supreme 
head of the Church within her own dominions ; but 
the man, being constant, refused to purchase his own 
liberty so dear ". 

" The Wednesday following he had provided two 

dozen of silk points,^ the which he blessed and kissed 

one after another, appointing his wife to bestow the 

one dozen (which was of colour white, answerable to 

^ I.e. laces. 


his name) upon twelve priests, and the other dozen 
upon twelve gentlemen to whom he was greatly be- 
holden. Then he bended a single penny and blessed 
etc. to be delivered [to] his ghostly father, to whom 
he was beholden himself; lastly, he caused his garters 
to be given [to] two priests of his familiar acquaint- 
ance ; and the day before he had sent his signet or 
seal of brass off his finger to a gentleman his very 
familiar friend." 

On Thursday, the day of execution, his wife saw 
David Edwards pass the jail and cried out, " God be 
a righteous judge between thee and me " ; but White 
" rebuked her, saying that, if they did not forgive now 
freely, all their labours would be lost". 

About ten o'clock White " hearing a great noise in 
the backside of the gaol, demanded what it was ; and 
being told that the gaoler's wife made lamentation 
for him, he turned to his wife and said, ' I pray thee, 
Catherine, go and comfort her'. Coming down the 
stairs to the common gaol, he found the house full of 
people weeping and lamenting, among whom were 
divers children, on whose heads one after another 
laying his hands, he prayed God to bless them ; then 
beholding a number without the gaol, attending 
opportunity to bid him farewell, he reached them his 
hands out of the window, and so took his leave of 
them all ; the like he did also with many in the gaol ; 
and whereas one of them a gentleman who had form- 
erly been his scholar, made great lamentations, he 
comforted him in these words ; ' Weep not for me, 
for I do but pay the rent before the rent-day '. Last 
of all, he bestowed five shillings in small pieces of 


silver to the poor at the prison-door, the which money 
a Catholic had sent him to be distributed with his 
own hands. At his passing to the execution, he gave 
his wife eleven shillings and his beads, the which was 
in effect all the wealth he left her." 

When the sheriff. Piers Owen, came in to tell him 
to prepare for death White kissed his wife and Mrs. 
Hughes, and " blessed his little infant (who was not 
above one month old) making a cross on his fore- 
head". Then Hughes and Morris asked leave to be 
present at the execution, but this was refused. So 
all four knelt to receive his blessing. " The martyr, 
pointing with his hand unto them, desired God to 
stand with them ; and so went toward the sledde 
which was provided for him instead of a hurdle, say- 
ing * In the name of Jesus,' as he went out of the 
prison-door." When he came to the sledde, he crossed 
himself and then his arms were tied behind his back ; 
but all the way to the place of execution *' he said the 
rosary, using the end of a string wherewith he held 
up his irons instead of beads ". As soon as he was 
laid on the hurdle a sudden sharp shower came on, 
which lasted until his body and soul were parted. 
Arrived at the gallows he turned to the people and 
said : " God is merciful to us ; behold the elements 
shed tears for our sins ". Then he climbed the ladder. 
Next the executioner, who was no other than Coytmor, 
his friendly jailer, on whom the odious task had 
been laid because he had let the prisoners out of jail 
on parole after their return from the Council, knelt 
to ask forgiveness, and White said : ** I do forgive thee 
before God, and I wish thee no more harm than I 


wish my own heart ". Then Owen Brereton asked 
him if he would have a priest, and White answered : 
'* Yea, with all my heart, but I will have no minister". 
Then the Sheriff questioned him whether he repented 
of his treasons and asked the Queen's forgiveness ; 
and White replied : " I never committed any treasons 
against her more than your father or grandfather 
have done, unless it be a treason to fast and to pray ". 
Last of all the Vicar of Wrexham asked if he 
acknowledged the Queen's supremacy over the 
Church, and White said that he acknowledged her to 
be lawful Queen of England. Then the Vicar asked 
why he had not said so at his trial, and White re- 
joined : " The question was not asked me ; but I told 
the council at another time that I was her poor 
subject, and that I prayed for her majesty. Mine 
examinations are to be seen, and my hand to the 
same ; search the records, and you shall find this to 
be true. Moreover, that I offered to go out of the 
realm to pleasure them, or into rocks and deserts, 
yea, if it were possible, under the ground, to use my 
conscience in the least offensive manner I might, or 
into what place soever it would please my prince to 
send me; but nothing will serve." After that White 
expressed his forgiveness of David Edwards and Mrs. 
Edwards, and desired the prayers of all present, 
especially of Catholics, and protested that he died a 
Catholic, and was guiltless of treason. Then the 
sheriff told the hangman to proceed, and the people 
fell on their knees to pray for him : but he was al- 
lowed to go on for some time speaking to the people, 
exhorting them to reconcile themselves to the 


Catholic Church. Then the hangman asked pardon 
a second time, and the martyr, taking him by the 
hand kissed it, saying: '' I do forgive thee with all 
my heart ; God and our Blessed Lady and St. Michael 
forgive thee ; it is all one to me that thou do this 
deed as another". When the executioner would put 
the rope round his neck, he smiled, advising him to 
leave the occupation, for it was but simple ; again he 
smiled when he tried to cover his face with a cloth 
and could not, without the help of the hangman. 
Just before the ladder was turned White said : " I have 
been a jesting fellow, and if I have offended any that 
way, or by my songs, I beseech them for God's sake 
to forgive me ". Then as he was saying Deus 
propitius esto mihi peccatori, the ladder was turned, 
and he hung for some time knocking his breast with 
both hands till he became insensible. Meanwhile 
the hangman leaned against his shackles, for he was 
hung in them, hoping to put him out of pain. When 
at last the rope was cut, he appeared to be dead ; 
but revived on the hurdle. The hangman had no 
experience of executions for treason and terribly 
bungled his business. The martyr retained his con- 
sciousness till the moment when his head was severed 
from his body, his last words being " Jesus, have 
mercy upon me ! " 

Within seven months of the execution Gronow 
confessed to having been bribed to give his evidence. 
The writer of the English narrative says that Sir 
George Bromley shortly afterwards became an idiot, 
that Thelwall soon perished, as did the greater part 
of the jury, that David Edwards next Lent died a 


fearful death, and that the crier of the court, Christo- 
pherson, ** became a fool and a momme " : and sees 
in all these events the finger of Providence. White's 
head and one of his quarters were set up on Denbigh 
Castle, and the other three quarters were disposed of 
to Wrexham, Ruthin and Holt. 

J. B. W. 

Authorities. — The chief authorities for the biography of this 
martyr are the EngHsh contemporary account printed in T/ie 
Rambler^ New Series, iii. (London, i860), at pp. 223-48 and 366- 
88, which is followed in the Diet. Nat. Biog.^ and the Latin con- 
temporary account in the Concertatio EcclesicB (Treves, 1588), 
172-203, which is followed by Bishop Challoner and also in 
Dodd's Church History^ and in Athence Cantabrigienses. The 
English account is the more detailed and circumstantial ; and is 
generally followed here. As to the dates of his trial and martyr- 
dom it is correct, while the Latin account is in error. For 
The Carols of Richard White, see C.R.S. 90-99. C. W. Bar- 
raud, S.J., Richard Wynn (White), Welsh Martyr (C.T.S.). 






Tyburn, 6 July, 1585. 

Thomas Alfield, or Aufield/ was probably born in 
the city of Gloucester, where his father, Robert (who 
had formerly been a scholar of Eton College and 
subsequently usher there) was master of the College 
school. He so far followed in his father's footsteps 
that in 1568 he became a scholar of Eton, and 
afterwards in due course proceeded to a Fellowship 
at King's College, Cambridge, and took the degree of 
Master of Arts, but, misliking the established religion, 
he went abroad, and on 8 September, 1576, arrived at 
the English College at Douay. He left in November, 
suspecting danger and returned to England. 

A year later, on 20 November, 1577, he was one of 

1 For a somewhat fuller account of this martyr see the writer's 
article " Notes on Two English Martyrs " in the Downside Re- 
view, March, 1909, vol. xxviii. No. 82. 

145 10 


the three recusants residing in Holy Trinity parish 
at Gloucester, and his ''worth" is recorded as 
*' nothing ". He was probably living in his father's 
house together with his younger brother, Robert, 
afterwards the very unsatisfactory servant of Father 
Persons. On i8 September, 1580, Thomas returned 
to the English College, then at Rheims, in the 
company of his relative, Thomas Evans, a goldsmith, 
and Nicholas Smith, a Jesuit novice. On 15 Decem- 
ber, 1580, he went to Soissons to be ordained sub- 
deacon, returning to Rheims on the 13th. On the 
following 21 February he was ordained deacon, 
presumably at Rheims ; on 4 March, the Saturday 
following Laetare Sunday, he was ordained priest at 
Ch^lons-sur-Marne, and he said his first Mass on 
the 13th. On 29 March, 1581, he set out for the 
mission in the company of the ill-fated John Ballard 
and of the future martyr, John Adams. One of the 
first-fruits of his labours was the reconciliation of the 
future martyr William Deane, who arrived at Rheims 
from Douay on 9 July, 1581. 

Within a few months Thomas Alfield was arrested 
and committed to the Tower. On 29 April, 1582, the 
Privy Council addressed " a letter to Mr. Lieutenant 
of the Tower, Mr. Thomas Randolph, Mr. Doctor 
Hamonde and Mr. Owen of Lincoln's Inn, requiring 
them to repair unto the Tower, there to examine one 
Thomas Alfield, a Seminary Priest, apprehended and 
committed thither, who, as it is supposed, is able to 
discover many matters touching the practices and 
proceedings of the Jesuits and Seminary Priests 
within the Realm ; they shall receive certain interro- 


gatories for the examining of him from Mr. Attorney, 
and in case he shall not willingly discover such 
matters as they shall find him able to declare in this 
behalf, that then they put him to the rack, and by 
the torture thereof draw from him such things as he 
shall be able to say etc. " 

On II June, 1582, Dr. Allen writes to Father 
Agazzario: ''After the question or torture of the 
priest Alfield, which took place on May i, nothing 
new occurred. He acted with great constancy, 
gloriously professing the Catholic faith, and confess- 
ing nothing of the other matters of which they 
examined him." ^ Between that date, however, and 
13 September, being threatened with further racking, 
he yielded to some extent and was released *' upon 
bonds". On 13 September, Dr. Allen writes to the 
same correspondent : — 

" Alfield, who is a brother of that discontented 
servant of Mr. Gilbert, has lapsed to some extent for 
fear of the torture, and having gone once or twice to 
the heretical church has been set free ". On his 
release he went back to his father's house in 
Gloucester where he remained till about Christmas, 
1582, when he removed to the house of John Paunce- 
foot of Hasfield, three miles from Gloucester.^ On 
29 March, 1583, Dr. Allen wrote to Father Agazzario : 

^ Letters and Memorials of Cardinal Allen, p. 144. 

^ This gentleman was a recusant and in October, 1585, he is 
described as a fugitive (Cal. S.P. Dom. 1581-90, p. 278), and 
Dorothy his wife was imprisoned in Newgate for her religion. 
While in exile John Pauncefoot published a work, The Firm 
Foundation of Catholic Religion (Antwerp, 1 590). 

10 * 


" A priest, moreover, Thomas Alfield, who himself 
also wavered a little for fear of tortures and death is 
on his way to us ".^ He had arrived at Rheims and 
been received again into the bosom of the Church 
before April,^ and had probably before that date 
returned to Mr. Pauncefoot's house. About the be- 
ginning of Michaelmas term he was with Mr. and 
Mrs. Pauncefoot at the house of his brother-in-law, 
John Mynors, in Aldersgate Street, London, '' being 
the next house unto the sign of the cock at Long 
Lane end ".^ The martyr was still there when John 
Mynors returned to Gloucester, 21 December, 1583, 
taking with him a letter from Thomas Alfield which 
proved the cause of his arrest. 

It is probably about this time that Thomas Alfield 
was approached by John Davis, afterwards Sir John 
Davis, the great explorer, after whom the Davis 
Strait between Baffin Land and Greenland is named. 
He professed himself a convert, and pretended to 
be disgusted at the piratical role forced on him by 
Queen Elizabeth's Government.! Accordingly he 
asked Thomas Alfield to introduce him to Dr. Allen, 
promising, as an earnest of his good faith, to sub- 
scribe a large sum towards the Rheims Seminary, if 
Dr. Allen would inform the Pope that he, Davis, was 
willing to fill the ships supplied to him by the 
English Government to be used in piracy against 
Spain, with Catholic sailors, who would serve the 
Pope or the King of Spain against the Turk or other 

^Letters, etc., p. 186 ; C.R.S. iv. 81. 

^ Douay Diaries, p. 325. 

^P.R.O., S.P. Dom. Eliz. clxvii. 28 (i). 


It is possible that Davis may have been 
in earnest, and that his subsequent conduct was due 
to the failure of his scheme to supply him with im- 
mediate cash ; but it is more probable that his plot 
was to compromise the Catholic powers. At any 
rate, Thomas Alfield took him seriously and arranged 
to meet him at Rouen, and thence to conduct him to 
Rheims and introduce him to Dr. Allen. This he 
did ; and Allen, too, was convinced of Davis's good 
faith, and on 20 March, 1583-4, sent Thomas Alfield, 
disguised as a layman, with a copy of a declaration 
by Davis and a letter from Allen himself, to the then 
Apostolic Nuncio in France, Monsignor Girolamo 
Ragazzoni, Bishop of Bergamo. He, on 2 April, re- 
ferred the matter to the Papal Secretary of State, Car- 
dinal Ptolomeo Galli, usually alluded to as the Car- 
dinal of Como. The Pope, while it seems he admitted 
Davis's offer as made in good faith, declined his ser- 
vices by a letter dated 23 April, and suggested that 
the offer should be made to the King of Spain.^ On 
the failure of all these negotiations in September, 
1584, Thomas Alfield returned to England, carrying 
with him five or six hundred copies of Dr. Allen's 
A True, Sincere, and Modest Defence of the English 
Catholiques, published at Ingolstadt, the presentation 
copy of which to the Pope was sent from Paris on 11 
September, 1584.^ This was an answer to Lord 
Burghley's Execution of Justice in England, published 
on 17 December, 1583. He also took with him at 

^C.R.S. V. 107 ; Letters, etc., p. 226. 
'^ Ibid. pp. 228, 422, 423. 
^ Ibid. pp. 239, 240, 424. 


least one copy of William Rainolds's A Refutation of 
sundry Reprehensions . , . hy which M. Whitaker la- 
boureth to deface the late English translation, etc., pub- 
lished at Paris in 1583. The indictment on which he 
was condemned charged him with causing William 
Allen's book to be published and set forth on 10 
September in the parish of All Saints, Bread Street, 
in the City of London. From London he would seem 
to have gone to Oxford before Michaelmas, in order 
to see William Rainolds's brother Edmund (a Master 
of Arts, who had formerly been a Fellow of Corpus 
Christi College, but had been ejected for his Catholic 
sympathies in 1568, and had retired to Gloucester 
Hall, where he was now a tutor), and to present him 
from his brother with the two books. From Oxford 
he went on to Gloucester and probably stopped at 
Hasfield as before. 

As, owing to John Mynors's confession, Alfield's 
familiarity with the Pauncefoots of Hasfield was 
well-known in Gloucester, it is probable that he was 
arrested there. At any rate he was again in the 
Tower of London before 25 March, 1584.^ A docu- 
ment in the archives of the English College at Rome 
says that Henry (which is clearly a mistake for Thomas) 
Alfield was betrayed by his own father.'-^ Father 
Persons, writing of Robert Alfield the younger, says ^ 
" he became the betrayer also of his own brother, 
who had done so much for him, and caused him to 
be apprehended and put to death ". We know as a 

1 C.R.S. iii. 19. '^ Douay Diaries, p. 292 


fact that Father Persons is right in calling Robert 
Alfield the younger an apostate, because in 1587-8 he 
was one of the two persons entrusted with the duty 
of " carryinge xij Semynary Preistes from London to 
the goale of Wysbeche ".^ Still there is no direct 
evidence to corroborate the statements that the be- 
trayer of Thomas Alfield was his father or brother. 
On the other hand, we have the testimony of Richard 
Young, one of the Justices who tried Thomas Alfield, 
that it was Sir John Davis. On 15 March, 1593-4, 
he wrote to Sir Robert Cecil : ^ "In that matter of 
Allfield I do knowe especially that his [Davis's] 
diligence, travaile, and fidelitie was very greate, and 
by his industrie and paynes hee was taken and the 
intelligence geven by him. . . . He allso tooke 
Allfield's bookes in the west countrey, which were 
very seditious and evill, and sent them up unto 

Perhaps the two Robert Alfields had pressure 
brought on them by Davis to lend their aid in the 
unholy work. In the Tower Thomas Alfield is said 
to have undergone grievous torture, and that this is 
probable is evident by the various interrogatories 
drawn up to be put to him. 

First of all there is a set of " articles " dated 30 
March, 1585, *'tobe mynstred unto Tho. Aufelde and 
Roe," which dealt with the great political questions 
of the time. This Roe is practically unknown. In 
the Tower Bills for Midsummer, 1585, and Michael- 
mas, 1585, he is called Christopher, and from the 

^ Dasent, op. cit. xvi. 4. "^ C.R.S. v. 244. 


latter Bill it would seem that he was liberated or died 
on 4 August, 1585.^ In the endorsement of these 
"articles" and also in the Calendar, he is called 
Thomas.^ If Alfield was racked to make him answer 
these articles, it was clearly lost labour, for in his 
letter to the Nuncio in France, dated 20 March, 
1583-4, above mentioned. Dr. Allen, while stating 
that Alfield was " in the conduct of affairs diligent, 
dexterous and painstaking," adds " but he should 
know nothing of the great business," i.e. the pro- 
posed invasion of England. 

Another set of " articles to be ministred to Alfield " 
exists, drawn up in the bad handwriting of Sir John 
Popham, afterwards Lord Chief Justice, but now 
Attorney-General.^ They are undated and consist 
of twenty-one queries, all of which, except the first 
and third, have to do with the interpretation to be 
put on certain expressions in Dr. Allen's writings. 
For an example we may take the tenth : " What ys 
the untowardly accident that hath happened wh. 
Allyn wryteth of". The first and third deal with the 
then whereabouts of Dr. Christopher Bagshaw,* and 
a priest named Cloudesley.^ These interrogatories 
also led to nothing ; but there can be no doubt that 

1 C./^.S. iii. 19, 20. ^Idid. v. 107, 108. 

3 P.R.O., S.P. Dom. Eliz. clxxix. 61. ^ D.N.B. ii. 400. 

5 Peter Cloudesley, described erroneously as a scholar of New 
College, Oxford, and probably a querister there, was ordained 
sub-deacon at Oxford, February, 1553 {^x^x^\ Marian Reaction^ 
p. 257), and became a priest a year or two later. He died a 
prisoner in York Castle {^Northern Genealogist^ vi. 34). 


Alfield was put to the torture in the hope of getting 
an answer to them as well as to the others. 

Eventually it was decided to proceed against 
Thomas Alfield under the statute 23 Eliz. c. 2, s. 4, 
which made publication of any book against the 
Queen felony punishable with death. 

Accordingly on 14 June, 1585, Thomas Alfield, 
together with two other priests, William Wigges and 
Leonard Hyde, both of whom were to be tried under 
the same statute, was transferred to Newgate there 
to await his trial at the Old Bailey. He was in- 
dicted on Monday, 5 July ; and the indictment has 
been printed with an excellent introduction by Father 
Pollen, S.J.i 

The indictment first recites the section and then 
goes on : " And since this notwithstanding one 
William Aleyn Professor of Theology desiring to 
bring the said Lady the Queen our Sovereign Lady 
into hatred and malevolence among all her subjects, 
and so far as in him lay to bring it to pass that all 
the subjects of the same Lady the Queen should 
deem that the said Lady the Queen was an heretic 
and fallen from the true Christian faith, and that she 
was an apostate Prince, hath advisedly and with a 
malicious intent against the said Lady the Queen 
caused a certain book to be printed in parts beyond 
the sea, containing very many false seditious and 
slanderous matters to the defamation of the said 
Lady the Queen that now is, and to the encouraging 
of insurrection and Rebellion within this Realm of 
England and to the subversion of the true and sincere 

'C.R.S. V. 1 12-7. 


religion ^ of God rightly and duly established in the 
said Realm ". 

After this preamble the indictment goes on to 
set forth four extracts from the True Sincere and 
Modest Defence of English Catholiques, the first two of 
which, as Father Pollen has no difficulty in showing, 
bear a much more moderate meaning when read in 
their contexts than they do in the indictment, where 
the contexts have been dishonestly curtailed or sup- 
pressed, and the other two are merely frivolously 
made ad captandum vulgus. The indictment finally 
states : '* Nevertheless one Thomas Alfield lately of 
London clerk disregarding the aforesaid statute did 
feloniously as a felon of the said Lady the Queen that 
now is, on the tenth day of September in the 26th 
year of the reign of the said Lady the Queen that 
now is, in London, to wit in the parish of All Saints 
in Bread Street in the Ward of Bread Street London 
advisedly and with malicious intent against the said 
Lady the Queen that now is cause to be published 
and set forth to divers subjects of the said Lady the 
Queen the aforesaid book of the aforesaid William 
Allen containing the aforesaid false seditious and 
slanderous matter set forth above in English and 
very many other things to the defamation of the said 
Lady the Queen that now is and to the encourage- 
ment of insurrection and Rebellion within this realm 
of England against the form of the aforesaid statute in 
in that case provided and against the peace of the said 
Lady the Queen that now is, her crown and dignity ". 

^ It is noticeable that the Statute contains no mention of 


A report of Alfield's trial has also been printed by 
Fr. Pollen.^ It is from an obviously hostile pen, 
and runs as follows : — 

"The effect of the substance of the matter that 
was done and spoken at the Arraignment of Thomas 
Allfeild a Jesuit^ Priest, at Newgate upon Monday 
the vth of July, 1585. First, he and his fellows ^ were 
brought from Newgate and placed at the bar; my 
Lord Mayor, my Lord Buckhurst, the Master of the 
Rolls, My Lord Anderson, Mr. Sackforth, Sir Rowland 
Hayward, Mr. Owen, Mr. Younge, and the Recorder,^ 
set down upon the Bench. 

" Mr. Town Clerk read the commission of Oyer & 
determiner. After this a Substantial Jury^ of the 
best Commoners to the number of twenty, or there 
abouts, were sworn to enquire, &c. 

** Then the Recorder gave that special Charge 
that belongeth to that Commission. After that done 
the inquest of Inquiry^ went up into the Council 
Chamber at the Sessions hall, in which place Mr. 
Attorney and Mr. Solicitor did read unto the inquest, 
the three several Indictments. There the offenders, 
upon good evidence given, were indicted, and Billa 
vera was set upon every one of them. The inquest 
was returned to the Court ; and being called by name, 
they presented the Bills to the Court. 

*' The Town Clerk received them and delivered them 
to the Recorder and he opened them and showed them 

1 C.R.S. V. 1 17-20. 2 There is no evidence of this. 

3 Wigges and Hyde. •» William Fleetwood. 

^ I.e. the Grand Jury. 


to the rest of the Justices how they were found. And 
there upon the Town Clerk was willed to call them 
to the bar, and so to arraign them, who began first 
with Allfeilde. 

" The indictment read, he was demanded whether 
he was guilty of the matter contained in that Indict- 
ment. To the which he would make no answer and 
prayed that he might be heard speak; and thereupon 
he used a certain frivolous speech, containing no 
matter, the effect whereof was that the cause in ques- 
tion was such that the same ought to be tried before 
learned men in divinity and not before laymen. 
After,, with much ado, he pleaded not guilty; and 
being asked how he would be tried, and also being 
told that he ought to be tried by God and the Country, 
he made a long stay, and said that it was no reason 
that twelve ignorant men should try a matter of Re- 
ligion, but that it ought to be tried by learned men. 
And then it was told him that a matter in fact was 
laid to his charge viz. for bringing into the Realm 
and uttering of a certain slanderous and lewd book 
against her Majesty and the Realm, devised by one 
Doctor Allen. 

"To the which Alfield answered and said expressly 
that the same book was a loyal book, ^ a lawful book, 

1 Father Pollen writes {C.R.S. v. 112): "The book was as 
Alfield protested 'a loyal book,' tending powerfully to induce the 
English Catholics to remain attached to Elizabeth in spite of all 
the cruelties they had to endure. Loyalty to her was always a 
characteristic of the Catholics in England ; and also of the exiles 
abroad, except when some unusual strain prevented their keeping 
in touch with their kinsmen at home." However this may be, 


a good and true book, and that the same was printed 
in Paris under the King's Privilege there ; and was 
allowed for a good and lawful book throughout all 
the universities in Christendom beyond the seas, and 
that it touched nothing but matters of Religion. 
And being asked whether it were a matter of Religion 
that the Pope had authority to deprive the Queen of 
England. And he answered that in generalty it was 
a matter of Religion that the Pope had authority ' to 
deprive any king, if he saw cause ' ; for that the Pope 
was a Regal King and Prince, and that he might 
take arms in hand as well as other kings might do. 
It was answered him that the Court sat, not to try 
matters of Religion, but a matter de facto^ that 
whether he brought the said slanderous books into 
the Realm and whether he had dispersed them. To 
the which he answered that he had brought live or 
six hundred of the same books into the Realm and 
that he had dispersed them, as he saw occasion ; and 
further he affirmed expressly that the book was a 
good book and lawful, and declared, as he had before 
done, how the same was allowed, &c. 

*' And after he was urged to put himself upon his 
trial, and was put in remembrance what the punish- 
ment of the law was, if Judgment were given against 
him de peine fort et dureJ^ And thereupon it was 

Allen, no doubt, was " carrying loyalty to Elizabeth to a length 
which the foreign Catholics, that is, the majority of Europe, 
thought if anything too advanced " (p. 1 14). 

^ As has been pointed out above, the statement of the In- 
dictment gratuitously imported the question of religion. 

^ This was the punishment for refusing to plead. Ven. Mar- 
garet Clitherow suffered under this sentence, 25 March, 1586. 


asked him how he would be tried, and he answered 
by God and the Country. And he was told by the 
Court that upon the Evidence ^iven he should be 
heard at large. And then was a Jury of very suffici- 
ent Commoners called, and he was especially warned 
by the Town Clerk to take his Challenges unto them 
as they should come to the book to be sworn. The 
Jury being sworn, the Indictment was read ; the 
which contained divers false, lewd, and slanderous 
words, not only to Treason, but most manifest and 
shameful slanders against her Majesty. Yet did 
Alfield not stick to say that * it touched not the 
Queen any more than it did the French king or 
Spanish king'.^ He travailed very much to make 
the Commissioners to believe that they understood 
not the slanderous book ; adding this withal, the 
same book was especially devised and written by Dr. 
Allen, to answer him ^ who had written the book of 
Justice of England, and not to slander the Queen. 
And after much speech used and many repetitions, 
all to one effect, by Alfield, there was delivered to 
the Jury one of the books, to compare the words of 
the Indictment with the book and the Examinations. 
And they finding them to agree, and hearing him so 
stoutly to justify the same to be a loyal book, they 
returned after a competent time, and being called by 
name and the prisoner being called to the bar, they 
were asked first of Alfield, whether he were guilty of 

^ This was Allen's own contention. See Father Pollen, C.R.S, 
V. 113. 

^ Lord Burghley. 


the offence that was contained in the Indictment, the 
Foreman said Guilty, &c. 

"And after being asked what he could say v/hy 
Judgment of death should not be given against him, 
he answered that the Offence was pardoned. The 
pardon was read ; and it was told him that his offence 
was excepted out of the pardon. 

" And then did the Recorder call him forth and re- 
cited the effect of the Indictment, and how that he 
was found guilty. And told him that he wondered 
that his father in King Henry's days being an usher 
of Eton and of a good Religion and had brought up 
many learned divines and other that served the Queen 
in temporal causes, where of hundreds the Recorder 
himself was one of the meanest. And that the same 
prisoner passed through the same College, and so to 
the King's College, being both of the Queen's high- 
ness' foundation ^ and now had he so unnaturally 
and beastly behaved himself that he was become the 
first that ever was arraigned of felony ^ of any that 
ever passed those Colleges by the space of these fifty 
years and more. And then said the Recorder : ' Ye 

^ The Recorder was, indeed, " one of the meanest " of Etonians, 
if he did not know that Elizabeth had nothing to do with the 
founding of these Colleges (founded 1440 and 1441 by that 
saintly Catholic King, Henry VI). 

^ This is very likely ; but, on the other hand, there is a pos- 
sibility that B. John Haile, LL.B., a Fellow of King's //al/y 
Cambridge, successively Rector of Cranford and Vicar of Isle- 
worth, whose name is also written Hale and Hall, was the Etonian 
of 1485. But he was convicted of treason just over fifty years 
before this trial. 


know that Christ paid tribute to Caesar and com- 
manded that Caesar should be obeyed, and that each 
man should yield to Caesar his duties. And that St. 
Paul, in the end of the Acts, was accused for Religion 
by the Jews, and it was told him that he should be 
sent to Jerusalem to be tried before the Priest there. 
And he answered that he stood before the Tribunal 
or Judgment-seat of Caesar, and there he ought to 
be tried.' And so he appealed to Caesar, where his 
cause was heard, and he dismissed. ' Here,* quoth 
the Recorder, *ye see that Christ commanded that 
Caesar should be obeyed ; he said not, deposed. And 
St. Paul did appeal to Caesar, and not to Peter ; be- 
cause he took Caesar to be his lawful king. And all 
men know that Caesar was not of the faith of Christ, 
nor yet did he believe as St. Paul did.' And after a 
few words more he gave Judgment and commanded 
the Sheriffs to do execution. 

" This Alfield appeared to have no skill at all either 
in the old or new Testament ; there appeared no 
manner of learning in him ; ^ he was bold, stout, and 
arrogant. He behaved himself more arrogantly than 
any that the Commissioners had heard or seen in 
their times. His words were such against her 
majesty that all the people fell into a murmur. He 
never used one word of reverence towards her high- 
ness. And at his passage to execution, the people 
oifered to pray with him, and he refused their offer, 

^ This, if true, cuts both ways, for he was educated by Pro- 
testants at Eton and King's College, and had taken the degree 
of M.A. 


and said that, if there were any Catholics there, he 
would be glad to have their Assistance." 

No account of the indictments of Wigges and Hyde 
has been published, but as they remained in New- 
gate for a considerable time afterwards, and then 
were imprisoned at Wisbech, they must have been 

Stowe, in his Annales under the year 1585, writes : 
" The fift of July Thomas Alfield, a seminarie priest, 
and Thomas Welley, diar, were arraygned at the ses- 
sions hall in the Old baily, found guiltie, condemned, 
and had judgement, as felons, to be hanged ; ^ for 
publishing of books containing false, seditious, and 
slaunderous matter, to the defamation of our Sove- 
raygne lady the Queene ; these were on the next 
morrow executed at Tyborne accordingly". 

This is the first mention we have to make in our 
narrative of Thomas Alfield's fellow-martyr, whose 
name was not Welley, as Stowe states, but Webley. 

As he was a dyer, he was probably related to John 
Webley, dyer. Mayor of Gloucester, 1583-4, the 
president of the tribunal that examined John Mynors ; 
and if this is so he was certainly near in blood to the 
future martyr, Henry Webley, who was born in 
Gloucester. It may not be amiss to recall that 
among the Catholics who were captured at Lyford 
with B. Edmund Campion, was one William Webley, 
a yeoman. This last may be the William Webley 
described as " of Brockworth in Glocester City igno- 
bills" whose daughter Joane was married to John Vele, 

1 Not being convicted of treason^ they were hanged until they 
were d^ad, ai^d were not quartered. 



of Longford, Gloucestershire ; ^ and our martyr may be 
the Thomas Webley of Gloucester who married Alice, 
daughter of John Bower in the parish of Berkeley, 
Gloucestershire.^ Some Webleys were armigeri, for 
on an eighteenth-century tomb we find their arms as 
follows : 2 " Or, a bend between three mullets pierced 
sable ". 

In the draft of a letter to the Lords of the 
Council concerning the Catholic prisoners, dated 
i8 March, 1584-5,* " Ralfe Emmerson, Edward 
Shelley, and Thomas Weblie dispersers of traitorous 
books" are mentioned among those "unworthy to 
live under her Maiesties protection " who had been 
examined twice or thrice and having proved steadfast 
had been consigned to close prison. 

Probably Thomas Webley was already in Newgate 
at the date of the document above referred to. As the 
eye-witness of Alfield's trial above cited only speaks 
of three indictments, it may be conjectured that 
Webley's indictment was an afterthought following 
on the acquittal of Hyde and Wigges. The prosecu- 
tion may have thought that only one conviction under 
the Statute was insufficient, and they could not with- 
out delay proceed against the other *' dispersers of 
traitorous books," as Shelley was in the Clink,^ and 
Emerson in the Poultry Counter.^ 

Father Persons in his additions to Edward Rish- 
ton's Fourth Book. of Dr.' Sander's Anglican Schism ^ 
made when the bobk was passing through the press, 

^ I/arl. Soc. xxi. 172. ' - '^ Ibid. 27. 

3 Rudder's Gloucestershire, p. 765. ^ C.R.S. v. 105. 

" C.R.S. ii. 235. ^U ... ; - V - « C.R.S. ii. 249. 


says that Webley was executed for distributing copies 
of Dr. Allen's work above mentioned, and adds that 
both Alfield and Webley had their lives offered to 
them " at the place of execution, if they would re- 
nounce the Pope and agree with the Queen. That 
they refused to do, and, therefore, clearly died a 
martyr's death. It is thus that these men answer 
our books — by hanging us." ^ 

J. B. W. 

Authorities.— ^^/<?r/ of Alfield' s Trial, C.R.S, v. 117. 
Douay Diaries, 169, no, i it,, passim. Cardinal Allen, 144, 
183, 186, passim. Articles for Alfield, C.R.S. v. 106. Ex- 
amination of Reynolds, C.R.S. v. 108. Richard Young to Sir 
Robert Cecil, C.R.S. v. 244. Indictment of Alfield, ibid. 112. 
Catalogue of Martyrs, ibid. 289. Report of Council, ibid. 105. 
Harwood, Alumni Etonenses, 149, 182. Fosbrooke, City of 
Gloucester, 116, ^m^lA^x, Gloucestershire, 170. Dasent, Acts 
of the Privy Council, N.S. xiii. 400. Bridgewater, Concertatio, 
203. Yepez, Hist. Part. 593-4. Challoner, i. 168-9. Transac- 
tions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire ArchcBological Society, 
V. 234, 235. 

^ See Lewis's edition of Sander, p. 335. 



• York, 26 November, 1585. 

Concerning this martyr practically nothing is known. 
He was born in Durham, arrived at the English Col- 
lege, Rheims, 2 May, 1582, and, having been ordained 
priest, was sent on the mission 27 March, 1585. 
He was " taken by the Lord Ewers, when he searched 
a Catholic man's house". He was condemned at 
the jail-delivery, which took place at York Castle, 24 
November, 1585, by the Commissioners of the North, 
Lord Evers being in the chair as vice-president, and 
other members of the Court being Laurence Meares, 
Ralph Huddlestone, and Henry Cheeke. He was 
the first priest to suffer under the provisions of the 
statute 27 Eliz. c. 2, recently passed, which made it 
treason to be made a priest and come into the realm. 
He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at York, Fri- 
day, 26 November, 1585. 

Among Father Grene's collections (Collectanea E) 
the following note about this martyr is found : — 

" At York, Mr. Taylor, having received sentence 
pf death with a layman on a Thursday and on th^ 



following day, Friday, having said Mass and his 
office; ' How happy,' said he, ' should I be, if on this 
day, on which Christ died for me, I might encounter 
death for Him '. Scarcely had he said this when the 
officer unexpectedly came to lead him off to execution, 
and leaving the layman for Saturday (the usual day 
for executions) put him immediately to death." 

J. B. W. 

Authorities. — Douay Diaries^ passim. Morris, Troubles^ iii. 
84. A.E.M. 326-7. Bridgewater, Concertatio^ 203^. Yepez, 
Hist. Part. 594. Challoner. 



York, 27 November^ 1585. 

Father Morris has printed three contemporary 
accounts of this martyr, which were not at the dis- 
posal of Bishop Challoner. The earliest appears to 
have been written before 3 June, 1586, and occurs in 
the Rev. John Mush's Life of Margaret Clitherow} 
The second, which is probably from the same pen, was 
written before Christmas, 1586.^ The third is from 
the pen of Grace, heiress of William Birnand, Recorder 
of York in 1573, and widow of Sir Ralph Babthorpe 
of Babthorpe. After losing her husband in 1617, she 
became a nun at St. Monica's Augustinian Convent 
at Louvain in 1621.^ Her account is short, and was 
written after she had become a nun, and when her 
memory was not so good as it had been ; but she 
entirely supports the earlier relations. 

According to Bishop Challoner our martyr was of 

1 Morris, Troubles^ etc.^ iii. 358, 365-8, 438-9. 

2 Op. cit. iii. 83-5. 

^ Op. cit. i. passim^ and Hamilton, Chronicle of St. Monica's 
at Louvain, passim. 



Angram Grange, near Appleton in Cleveland. It is, 
however, remarkable that if so, we find no mention 
of him in the will of Christopher Bowes of Angram 
Grange, which was proved on 30 September, 1568.^ 
All that Mr. Mush says of his social position is that 
he was " an honest substantial gentleman or yeoman, 
I know not whether, wonderfully beloved and well- 
spoken of among his neighbours ". 

He was a married man, with children, and his wife 
was still living. Although through fear of losing all 
his possessions he was an occasional conformist — 
(Lady Babthorpe bluntly calls him " a poor schis- 
matic ") — he had always felt in his heart that the 
Catholic Faith was true, and had entertained priests, 
and introduced into his house a Catholic tutor for his 
children. According to Mr. Mush's first account this 
tutor was arrested about Michaelmas, 1585 ; but ac- 
cording to the second account, which is probably, as 
we have said, from the same source,^ " he was appre- 
hended travelling in the Bishopric, as I remember, 
by John Barnes, brother to the false bishop, about 
Whitsunday," 1585. It seems likely that the latter 

^ Foster, Visitation of Yorkshire in 161 2 (privately printed 
1875), 497. Leonard Brackenbury, mentioned below, whose 
evidence was probably given about 1626 (Pollen, English 
Martyrs^ 1^84.-160^^ London, C.R.S.^ 1908, 393), says he was 
born at Ellerbert, i.e. Ellerbeck in the parish of Osmotherley, 
North Riding. If so, he was probably a grandson of Christopher 
Bowes, and son of William Bowes of Ellerbeck by Mary d. of James 
Conyers of Ellerbeck, but his name does not occur in the pedigree 
of 1612. 

^ The similarity in style of the first and second accounts is 
strong internal evidence. 


date is the correct one. Eventually by cruel usage, 
threats, and bribery, the tutor was induced to abjure 
his faith, and give evidence against such Catholics 
as he knew. On his accusation, our martyr and his 
wife were sent for to York for having harboured 
priests, but after a short imprisonment were released 
on bond until the next jail-delivery. The case against 
Mrs. Bowes was apparently dropped ; but her hus- 
band duly appeared and was promptly condemned on 
the sole evidence of the tutor, which as Mr. Mush 
frequently remarks, could be bought for sixpence. 
Before his death he was absolved from the guilt of 
schism, probably by his fellow-martyr Hugh Taylor, 
*' the which he boldly confessed with great alacrity 
of mind ". He was hanged as a felon at York on 
Saturday, 27 November, 1585, being the first layman 
to suffer under the new statute, which made it felony 
to harbour a priest. 

Bishop Challoner, on the authority of a Mr. 
Leonard Brackenbury, a Yorkshire attorney, suggests 
that Bowes suffered merely for having given Taylor 
a cup of beer at his door ; ^ but though this story is 

1 His evidence, now in the Westminster Archives, vol. iv., runs 
as follows : — 

" De Marmaduco Bowes ex relatione Leonardi Brakenbury 
Attornaei in Yorkshire. 

" Marmaduke Bowes, gent, born at Ellerbert in Yorkshire, lay- 
man, and married, was suddenly apprehended, condemn'd and 
executed for giving a cup of bear at his dore to a Priest upon the 
accusation of one Martin Harrison, the Earle of Huntingdon 
being President, and Laurence Meares, one of the Council being 


told by Lady Babthorpe, she does not remember 
that it applied to Bowes. All she can remember of 
the layman is that he had an apostate priest as his 
brother ; and this would not seem to be true of our 

Another story told by Bishop Challoner, on the 
authority of a manuscript of Mr. John Ingleby, coun- 
sellor-at-law,^ is that Bowes on hearing of the sudden 
arrest of Taylor dashed off to York in the hope of 
giving evidence on his behalf, but was himself there- 
upon " immediately apprehended, tried, and con- 
demned ". This, however, in so far as it conflicts 
with our authorities may be rejected as later legend. 
'* Some say he was hanged in his boots and spurs," 
concludes the good Bishop : and here he is backed 
by the recollections of Lady Babthorpe. She 
writes : '* Upon his schoolmaster's accusation to the 
Council at York, this Mr. Bowes was sent for to an- 
swer this complaint made against him ; after which 
answer he was suffered to go home and to appear 
again at the assizes, which he did, thinking himself 
secure ; but at his coming he was presently indicted, 

^ A John Ingleby, son of John Ingleby of Rudby, Yorks, was 
admitted to Gray's Inn, 8 February, 1602-3. Another John 
Ingleby, son of Thomas Ingleby of Lawkland, in the parish of 
Clapham, Yorks, was admitted to the Inner Temple in 161 1 and 
died in 1648. This is no doubt the same John Ingleby of Lawk- 
land, Esq., who was admitted to Gray's Inn 29 January, 1622-3 
(Foster, Gray^s Inn Admission Register^ i^2i-i88g, London, 
privately printed, 1889, PP- io4) 1^9 '■> Students Admitted to the 
Inner Temple, 1^47-1660, London, 1877, p. 200). Probably the 
evidence was given by John Ingleby of Lawkland, as this family 
are known to have been staunch Catholics. 


condemned and hanged, and, as it was reported, in 
his boots and spurs as he came to town. He died 
very wiHingly, and professed his faith, with great 
repentance that he had lived in schism." 

J. B. W. 

Authorities.— Morris, Troubles, passim. A.E.M. 158, 
1603. Catalogue of Martyrs, C.R.S. v. 191. Bridge water, 
Concertatio, 203*. Yepez, Hist. Part. 594. Challoner, i. 169. 




Tyburn, 2\ January, 1586. 

Edward Stransham was born in 1557^ "at Oxford 
of good honest Catholic parents, in the parish of St. 
Mary Magdalen, near the north gate which is called 
Bocardo, and educated in the College of St. John the 
Baptist where he was made Bachelor . . . of Arts ".^ 
This was on 29 February, 1575-6.^ He was thus in 
the College during the Presidency of Toby Mathew, 
afterwards Archbishop of York. The name Strans- 
ham which is not mentioned in Bardsley's Dictionary 
of English and Welsh Surnames, is now exceedingly 
uncommon, though there is one Stransom in the 
current Post Office Directory for London. In the 
sixteenth century it was commoner. There were 
three other Stranshams at Oxford about this time ; 
Robert and Francis of All Souls, and Lawrence of 
Christ Church.^ There were Stranshams also at 
Canterbury, Faversham, and elsewhere in Kent. 

^ Clark, Register of the University of Oxford, ii. 69. 
^^.iS'.J/. 254. 

^ Foster, Alumni Oxonienses ; Clark, op. cit. iii. 58. 


The Douay Diaries mention three others of this 
name : Thomas, elder brother of our martyr, of whom 
more hereafter ; John, in the service of Moyle Kemp, 
Esq., third son of Sir Thomas Kemp, of Wye, Kent ; 
and George Stransham alias Potter, of the diocese 
of Canterbury, ordained priest in 1585,^ who was 
probably John's brother. The name is probably de- 
rived from Stransham, a village in Worcestershire, 
the birthplace of Samuel Butler, author of Hudibras. 
Edward Stransham remained at St. John's for a year 
after taking his degree, and then, persuaded by a 
letter from a stranger to him, one Henry Browne,^ he 
determined to cross the sea, and went to Dover, 
where he chanced to meet two other Englishmen, 
who were going over. One of these was named 
Richard Nayler: the surname of the other is not 
given, but his Christian name was Nicholas. It is 
probable that this was Stransham's future fellow- 
martyr Nicholas Wheeler, who had dropped his real 
surname, and had not yet fixed on another. 

They arrived at the English College at Douay, 18 
April, 1577, and Stransham paid a visit to Cambrai 
14 to 16 August, 1577, in the company of the future 
martyr Blessed Luke Kirby. When the College was 
removed to Rheims in April, 1578, he went with the 
rest, but on 14 October following returned to England, 
with a priest named William Slade, afterwards a 

^ Possibly George Potter of Oxford, B.A. of Merton College, 
Oxford, in 1584. 

^ He was a friend of William Slade, hereinafter mentioned, 
and was in the service of Dr. Allen at Douay and Rheims till he 
died at Fimes, 4 July, 1582. 


Jesuit, whose acquaintance he had made in his Ox- 
ford days, when Slade had been at Gloucester Hall. 
He arrived back at Rheims, 8 June, 1579, *' having re- 
covered from the illness which had been the cause 
of his journey to England," bringing with him four 
students, Richard Ingham, John Middlemore, Thomas 
Lyster and William Cowling, of whom all except 
Middlemore went on to the English College at Rome 
and became priests, Lyster eventually becoming a 

Edward Stransham received the first tonsure, minor 
orders, and the subdiaconate in September, 1579, at 
Laon, probably from the then diocesan Monsignor 
Jean de Bours. He was ordained deacon by the 
Bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne, Monsignor Cosme 
Clausse de Marchaumont, '' at the altar of Cardinal 
de Guise," the then Archbishop, in Rheims Cathedral, 
19 March, 1579-80, and priest at Soissons, by the 
bishop of the diocese, Monsignor Charles de Rouci- 
Sissonne, in December, 1580. He said his first Mass 
on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, 27 December, 
1580, but at this time he was so ill that it was not 
thought advisable to send him on the mission. How- 
ever, as he got no better, but remained " sick of a 
continual flux," it was considered that his native air 
might do him good, and he received Dr. Allen's per- 
mission to go to England. In according it Dr. Allen 
" willed him to do the best he could there " consider- 
ing the state of his health, and to that end "gave 
him authority to hear confessions . . . and to absolve 
and reconcile to the Catholic Church," but "other 
commissign," says our martyr, " he hd.6, none ", As, 


however, Father Pollen points out,^ *' we know now 
that he was also the bearer of a letter, which was of 
some interest and importance, though its import was 
not new. He brought over from Paris the votum or 
opinion of Father (afterwards Cardinal) Toledo, on 
the illicitness of attending the Protestant church 
in obedience to the laws of 23 Elizabeth which had 
lately been passed. This opinion is printed in Father 
Henry More's Historia Provinciae Anglicanae (1660), 
p. 66, and there bears date 14 June, 1581. Father 
H. Garnet in his Treatise of Christian Renunciation (a 
very rare booklet of which the only known copies 
seem to be at Cambridge and Oscott), says at p. 
159, that * Mr. Edward Stansham, now a Saincte in 
Heaven,' brought over this paper to England. It 
may be that Stransham was not actually acquainted 
with the purport of the letters, which he presumably 
delivered to some older priest. In any case ... it 
is easy to see why he should have answered as he 
did . . . for . . . Toledo's letter only confirmed the 
ordinary teaching of the missionaries." 

He left Rheims 30 June, 1581, with eight or nine 
crowns in his pocket as journey money, in the com- 
pany of his fellow-martyr, Nicholas Woodfen {verc 
Wheeler), already mentioned, and two other priests, 
James Taylor and William Morecott, the former of 
whom became chaplain to Edward Habington of 
Hindlip,^ the conspirator, and having been imprisoned 
successively in the Gatehouse, in Wisbech Castle, 
and in Worcestershire, was finally banished. 

1 C.R.S. V. 121, 122. 

^ As to whom see Diet. Nat. Biog. xxiii. 414. 


They, or at any rate Stransham, *' took shipping 
at Dieppe in an Enghsh ship and landed in a little 
haven called Newhaven besides Lewes in Sussex "} 
This is probably one of the earliest references by this 
name to the place which was formerly called Meech- 
ing.2 Father Warford says that during Stransham's 
sojourn at Rheims " being gifted by nature with a 
good wit and the faculties necessary for preaching, 
he made much progress in that art, and was greatly 
famed for his sermons when he returned to England," 
where he " attached himself to Father Gaspar Hey- 
wood,^ with whom he lived on very intimate terms ". 
He seems to have laboured for the most part in 
Oxford. In the early summer of 1583 he " took 
shipping at Rye," *' landed at Dieppe, went thence 
to Rouen, and from thence to Paris, thence to 
Rheims,"^ where he arrived 22 July, 1583.^ He 
brought with him John Atkins, Fellow of Trinity 
College 1574, M.A. 1577, once chaplain to Francis, 
second Earl of Bedford, K.G. ; Richart Blount, B.A., 
from Balliol College in 1582, and Fellow of Trinity 
College for three months, afterwards a Jesuit ; ^ John 
Oven, born 1560 at Godstow, Oxfordshire, B.A. 1580, 
Fellow of Trinity 1580, ordained priest at Rheims, 
sent on the Mission 2 October, 1584, exiled 15 Sep- 

^C.R.S. V. 123. 

"^ Lewis in his Topographical Dictionary of England^ iii. 392, 
says : " its present appellation was probably given to it about 

^ As to whom see Diet. Nat. Biog. xxvi. 329. 

* C.R.S. V. 124. ^ Douay Diaries., p. 197. 

^ Diet. Nat. Biog. \. 2^2. 


tember, 1585, condemned to death in 1590, but saved 
his life in this world by conforming ; Walter Oven, 
brother of the above, aged fifteen, also of Trinity, 
afterwards ordained deacon in France and priest in 
Spain ; William Morgan of Salisbury diocese, also 
of Trinity; Edmund Cecil of Merton College, a 
native of Bristol ; Charles Persall of St. Mary Hall ; 
Nicholas Prankish or Frankize afterwards a priest ; 
Edward Thwing, the venerable martyr ; and Edward 
Cole, afterwards a priest. On 14 August there fol- 
lowed John Cecil, Fellow of Trinity 1572, M.A. 
1579-80, who afterwards turned out badly, ^ and Roger 
Lancaster, Fellow of Corpus Christi 1566, M.A. 
1572, B.C.L. 1575, son of John Lancaster of Mil- 
verton, Somerset, afterwards a priest.^ Most if not 
all of these were the fruits of our martyr's labours at 
Oxford. From Rheims Stransham returned to Paris 
in the autumn of 1583, and was there about a year 
and a half. It is to this period that the following 
remarks of Father Warford apply : — 

'' The Martyr was wont to say that he would like 
to go to Italy (though in fact he never went) for many 
reasons; ranking, next after his desire to visit the 
tombs of the Apostles, a wish to see the place and 
examine with his own eyes the rails, whence Theo- 

^ Diet. Nat. Biog. Supp. i. 403. C.R.S. xiii. 2, etc. 

"- He died at the English College, Douay, 20 August, 1 598, 
" the most perfect contemner of this world of all whom I had 
ever known since childhood," as the Rev. John Jackson, the 
then diarist records. See Burton an4 Williams, Douay Diaries 
(C^.5. X.), 3, 318, 


dosius was turned away by Blessed Ambrose.^ In 
the writings of that holy Doctor he took great delight, 
and loved especially his greatness of mind, a greatness 
which was seen renewed in Stransham while with- 
standing with his life the Queen of England. Writ- 
ing to him afterwards, I gave him a description of 
Milan and its Cathedral, with which he was so 
charmed, that, writing to me about it, he confessed 
that nothing had ever given him so much pleasure, 
and that he esteemed it a great favour. These, his 
last letters, are still in my possession in England. 

" He was at that time sick unto death in Paris 
with a slow fever and consumption, insomuch that 
he took nothing but asses' milk, yet he was preserved 
to give God greater glory, and to receive the crown 
of martyrdom." 

At this very time an informer had been telling the 
English Ambassador at Paris that '' Edward Tran. 
som priest, called by the name of ffraunces Willec 
ys harbred by Mathew Wallen gent and student in 
lyons inn : which Traunsom goeth in a sheep's 
coUered gowne, and every nighte lieth in the cham- 
ber of the said mathew Wallen within the inn " 
and that an absolute pardon from the Pope for '' mr. 
Throgmorton now prisoner in the Tower to be 
conveyed by Edward Transoom preste, called by the 
name of Ffraunces Wyllece " was to be brought to 
England by Thomas Parsons, who was to start from 

1 This he could not have done, for every trace of the " basilica 
nova intramurana " of Milan, where this took place, was obliter- 
ated nearly two centuries before, when the new Duomo was 
begun in 1386. 



Paris 7-17 June, 1584. Probably the spy was here 
confusing our martyr with his elder brother Thomas 
ordained priest 1578, whom Father Warford describes 
as " a priest now [i.e. about 1596] labouring in the 
vineyard, a worthy and unassuming man ". 

This false testimony of the informer led to our 
martyr being interrogated, 17 July, 1585, as to his 
knowledge of the Throckmortons on which occasion 
he confessed " that Francis Throckmorton ^ he knew 
here in England by sight, Thomas Throckmorton ^ 
he hath known in Paris, and also Thomas Morgan ^ 
he hath known in Paris since his last going over". 

He recovered his health in Paris to some extent, 
and early in June, 1585, went to Rouen. Three 
weeks later he went on to Dieppe, where he took 
ship on 3-13 or 4-14 July. He landed on some un- 
inhabited part of the coast of Sussex, giving the 
Dieppe fishermen three or four crowns for his passage 
over, and the first day travelled thirty-five miles to 
" Coppinges-court " in Sussex (i.e. probably the manor 
of Cocking, then in possession of Lord Montagu) 
where he lay that night. The next night he spent 
at Farnborough in an alehouse ; and the next day 
came to London, having traversed the whole distance 
on foot. There he stopped in an alehouse for two 
or three nights, and on Saturday, 13 July, "he came 
to Mr. fferres house beyond Bishop gate to Mrs. 
iferres, whom he had seen twice or thrice at his last 

^ The conspirator, as to whom see Diet. Nat. Biog. Ivi. 329. 
^ His brother. 

=' Queen Mary's agent in Paris, as to whom see Diet. Nat. 
Biog. xxxix. 31 and Notes and Queries^ loth S. ix. 183. 


being in England ". " He asked in the Street the way 
to Mrs. fferres house because he knew it not . . . 
and Mrs. Ferres ... he did never see ". He was 
arrested the very next day, Sunday, 14 July, 1585, as 
he was saying Mass, through the instrumentality of 
the infamous spy Thomas Rogers, alias Nicholas 
Berden, sometime servant to Mr. George Gilbert. 
This wretch, though he was arrested with Stransham, 
was, as Father Pollen says, " allowed next month to 
go out on bail and to leave the country. He kept, 
however, in his hands various things belonging to the 
Martyr, which he made use of in Paris in order to 
worm himself into the confidences of the Catholics 
there. ' I have delivered the token of Transam 
alias Barber to Thomas Fitzherbert,' ^ so runs 
Berden's report of 11 August, 1585, 'who upon sight 
thereof has received me into his company most 
willingly, and has given me credit with all the 
Papists of Paris ' (Record Office, Dom. Eliz. Add. 
xxix. n. 38). Thus there seems good reason for 
believing that not only was our Martyr betrayed by 
this rascal, but that the scoundrel made one villainy 
a stepping-stone to others of even greater importance. 
For Berden's object in Paris was to foment the dis- 
content among Mary Stuart's friends, which in fact 
did soon after culminate in the Babington plot." 

As Stransham cannot have been more than six days 
in London before he was arrested, it is clear that 
some of the following passages from Father Warford's 
account of him, which prima facie would seem to re- 

^ As to whom see Z>zV/. Nal. Biog. xix. 172. 


late to this year, really refer to an earlier sojourn in 
England. According to Father Warford, after 1583 
** he returned to England, and laboured strenuously, 
chiefly in London and among the upper class. At 
length, through the frequency and openness of his 
visits to the prisons, in order to console and assist the 
Catholics, he was apprehended in London and brought 
to trial. He defended himself with such applause, 
so ingeniously and eloquently, against the insidious 
questions of the pleader and the Judges, that even 
the heretics admired him. He generally wore a 
hair-shirt, and though he frequently suffered from ill- 
health, he was ever unwilling to be without this pro- 
vocative of piety and chastity, but kept it with him 
and resumed it as soon as he was well again. He 
often escaped in a wonderful manner, having great 
presence of mind. I heard once from himself that 
returning to the house of a Catholic, where he mostly 
lodged, he found it surrounded by the Queen's officers, 
who had come to take him, and when he found that 
he could not fly without being seen, he feigned to be 
going in another direction, but being confused and 
not noticing the way, he fell into a deep swamp, and 
having extricated himself with difficulty, he was 
compelled by that band of persecutors to return and 
give an account of himself. Having his breviary 
with him, he wrapped it in a small handkerchief, in 
order that it might not betray him, and gave it to 
one of the simplest standing by the door to hold. 
God so disposing, the man returned it to him with- 
out any suspicion, and by his cautious answers and 
presence of mind he safely evaded the examination of 


the Justice at the head of the searching party. He 
had more than one such escape afterwards. 

** He was very zealous in gaining souls, discreet in 
daily life, most exact in speech, and more than com- 
monly learned. He was tall and dark, slightly but 
becomingly bearded, his head small, and very emaci- 
ated in person." Later on Father Warford says : 
" He used to say his office with great attention and re- 
verence. Thus, once in England, where frequently 
there was no convenience for saying it otherwise, a 
certain priest, a friend of his, said it lying in bed, 
whereupon he was severely scolded by Stransam, who 
said that such a fault was not to be tolerated in a 
priest. Strict, however, as he was in finding fault, 
he was also full of tact." 

He was examined 17 July, 1585, and a note of his 
examination has survived, and is now printed in the 
fifth volume of the Catholic Record Society to which 
frequent reference has been made above. On the 
following 19 January he was indicted (under the 
name of Edward Barber) with Nicholas Woodfen at 
the Old Bailey under 23 Eliz. c. 2, for having been 
made priest abroad and coming into the realm. 
Both were found guilty and two days later on St. 
Agnes' Day " glorified God by a most precious death 
and confession " at Tyburn, their bowels being 
** plucked out while they were yet alive ".^ "Some 
good Catholics," says Father Warford, '* relate that 

1 Dr. Challoner purports to quote the above from Rishton, i.e. 
Father Persons' addition to Dr. Sander's Be origine ac Progressu 
Schismatis Anglicani ; the passage is not to be found in Lewis's 


once when Father John Cornelius [martyred 4 July, 
1594] was exorcising a possessed person, the devil, 
seeming to rejoice in the death of such a man, said 
(and his word turned out to be true) : ' You, too, 
shall shortly follow Stransam. Oh, how sweet his 
bowels smelt when they were burning at Tyburn. 
Ah what a scent it was ! ' " 

The venerable martyr William Freeman who 
suffered 13 August, 1595, used to *' tell with great 
affection of the martyrdom of Mr. Edward Streansham, 
Prieste, which yf it were not the first motyve, yet a 
great confirmacion undoubtedly yt was unto hym in 
the Catholique faith, as by his taulke might well 
appeare ". 

J. B. W. 

Authorities. — A.E.M. 254. Examination of Ed. Stran- 
sham^ C.R.S. v. 120. Douay Diaries, 118, 12^, passim. War- 
ford's Relation, A.E.M. 257. Henry Hollands Relation, 
Challoner Appendix. Trials of S trans ham, etc., C.R.S. v. 129. 
Martyrdom of William Freeman, ibid. 346. PenkevePs Relation, 
A.E.M. 284. Challoner, i. 176-7. Yepez, Hist. Part. Bridge- 
water, Concertatio, 204, s.v. " Transamus ". 


vere WHEELER. 


Tyburn^ 2 1 January^ 1 5 86. 

As we owe nearly all that is known of this martyr to 
"an ancient missioner his schoolfellow " and "inti- 
mate acquaintance " named Davis, it may not be 
amiss to make a short preliminary inquiry as to the 
latter's identity. 

He was born in Herefordshire, as he tells us (in 
his account of the Ven. Thomas Holford, printed by 
Dr. Challoner), and is almost certainly to be identi- 
fied with (i) the Richard Davis alias Foster alias 
Winkfield who was in the Wood Street Counter in 
1586, and is said to have been " the principal person 
that received Campion, Persons & Edmondes,^ & con- 
ducted them throughe England & the Corrupter of 
Will ffytton his mother in lawe & all there ffamylle, 
w* d)rverse others"; (2) the priest named Wink- 
field who was about forty years of age in 1591 ; (3) 
the priest named Davis who was in Herefordshire 
in 1605, and (4) the old blind priest named Davis 

1 I.e. William Weston, S.J. 


" lodging about Holborne Conduit " in 1623. As 
both he and our martyr (who is described as " a 
young man" when he came to Rheims in December, 
1579) were probably born about 1550, he is to be dis- 
tinguished from the Richard Davis of Llandaff diocese 
mentioned in the Douay Diaries, who in 1580 is there- 
in described as " an old man " and '* venerable " and 
was doubtless a priest of Queen Mary's reign. 

Mr. Davis, whose narrative was probably compiled 
in 1626, tells us that our martyr's real name was 
Nicholas Wheeler, that he was born at Leominster, 
and educated with him at the Grammar School there, 
where he was considered one of the best scholars. 
After leaving school they lost touch with each other, 
and never met till after our martyr's ordination as 
priest. So we do not know what he did after leaving 
school. Probably he acted as private tutor in vari- 
ous Catholic families. For a short period he acted 
as ** servant and assistant " to the Ven. Swithin 
Wells, when he kept a " school " (as we are in- 
formed by Father Stanney, S.J., who for the last five 
years of Wells's life acted as his confessor) at Monk- 
ton Farleigh on the Somersetshire border of Wilt- 
shire about 1575. As we have seen above, Nicholas 
Wheeler probably arrived at Douay 18 April, 1577, 
and when he came to Rheims, 27 December, 1579, 
he is described as of the diocese of London. 

We have no means of guessing why on going to 
Rheims he assumed the very unusual name of 

^ A Woodfin resides at Chester at the present day according 
to the Post Ojfice Directory. 


It does not seem to have ever been a Hereford- 
shire name. On the other hand, the name of 
Devereux, which our martyr subsequently took on 
the mission is the family name of Viscount Hereford, 
Premier Viscount of England, and was the name of 
the Royal favourite, the Earl of Essex, and so natur- 
ally would suggest itself to a Herefordshire man. 

Nicholas Woodfen, as he elected to be called, was 
ordained deacon at Chalons-sur-Marne on Saturday, 
4 March, and priest three weeks later, 25 March, 1581, 
in St. Mary's, Rheims, by the Bishop of Chalons- 
sur-Marne, Monsignor Cosme Clausse de Marchau- 
mont. He had probably received minor orders and 
the sub-diaconate at Douay. He said his first Mass 
on 5 April, 1581, and left for the mission with Edward 
Stransham, 30 June, 1581. 

Mr. Davis says : *' Coming to London, after his 
return, he was driven to great necessity ; and learn- 
ing that I was entertained by Sir Thomas Tresham's 
lady,^ who lived in Tuttle-street ^ in Westminster 
(Sir Thomas Tresham, her husband, being prisoner 
for his religion at Hogsdon, or Hoxton, beyond 
London), he came to an inn thereby, and sent me a 

As Sir Thomas Tresham, knight, of Rushton, 
Northants, was in the Fleet 22 March, 1582-3, hav- 
ing been committed there the previous 18 August,^ 
this letter would therefore seem to have been written 
before or after this imprisonment. 

^ Muriel, daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton, 
see Diet. Nat. Biog. Ivii. 205. 
2 I.e. Tothill Street. 
* Dasent's Acts of Privy Council., xiii. 176. 


To resume Mr. Davis's narrative : " I came unto 
him ; who declared unto me, the tears standing 
in his eyes, that he had neither money to buy him 
any meat, nor scarce any clothes upon his back. I 
pitied his case, comforted him, and gave him such 
money as I had then present ; and afterwards ac- 
quainted him with catholics in London : and by the 
help of Mr. Francis Brown, the old lord Montague's 
brother, I got him apparel, and furnished him in 
such sort, as he took a chamber in Fleet-street, near 
the Conduit, at one Burton, a haberdasher's house, ^ 
and did much good among the gentlemen of the inns 
of court, and went in a gown as one of them ; where 
he went by the name of Woodfen. But Norris, the 
pursuivant, ferreted him out and forced him from 
thence. After that, he came to Hogsdon to me ; 
where the next day after his coming he fell into the 
like danger : for the house was beset and searched 
by two pursuivants ; who, to be the more sure of 
their prey, brought with them the owner, or landlord, 
of the house ; who finding a certain door closed up 
told Sir Thomas of it ; who said it was true, that 
because his serving men lay in that chamber, and 
his son in the next chamber, to the end that his men 
should not have access to his son, he barred up that 
door; wherein, indeed, the secret place was devised, 
which saved us both at that time : but, as our Saviour 
said, nondum venit hora mea, so his hour was not yet 

^ In February, 1583-4, a State Paper mentions that " Burton, 
dwelling at the sign of the Bishop in Fleet Street, keepeth in his 
house Woodfrey [Woodfen] a traitorous Papist " (Foley, Records 
SJ., vi. 721). 


come." At last on the third attempt he was arrested 
and committed to Newgate. He was indicted as 
Nicholas Devorax alias Woodfen at the Old Bailey, 
ig January, 1585-6, under the same statute, 27 Eliz. 
c. 2, as Edward Stransham, and as we have seen 
both suffered at the same place on the same day. 

J. B. W. 

.Authorities. — Douay Diaries^ 9, 26, passim. Benjamin 
Norton to Bishop of Chalcedon^ C.R.S. v. 392. Two Exams, of 
Swithin Wells ^ ibid. 131, Trial of Nicholas Woodfen^ C.R.S. 
V. 129. Prison Lists^ C.R.S. ii. 250, 252, 255, 274, 275. Foley, 
Records., \. 381, iv. 370. Challoner, vol. i. 177-8 and Appendix. 
DodweWs Intelligence ., cited by Simpson, Rambler., N.S., vii. 422 
(June, 1857). Yepez, Hist. Part. Dasent, Acts of Privy 
Council., xiii, 176. 




York, 26 March, 1586. 

Among the noble band of " valiant women " who 
now enjoy the fulfilment of the promise that is at- 
tained through pain, none are nearer to our hearts 
than those women of our own country, who so gladly 
suffered loss and death, in order to help in keeping 
the faith alive in England. Of these the Venerable 
Margaret Clitherow was the most heroic. Her life 
was spent in the service of God and her one longing 
was for the return of her country to His worship in 
the Catholic Church. Can we doubt that her suffer- 
ings and death have won for her prayers a ** power 
and passion to deliver hearts from the prison-house " 
of heresy? » 

The Yen. Margaret Clitherow was born at York 
circa 1550-6. Her father was Thomas Midleton, 
a wax-chandler living in Davygate, who was elected 
one of the city sheriffs in 1564-5. He died in May, 
1567, leaving Margaret the house in Davygate, a 
silver goblet and six silver spoons. His widow mar- 



ried in September of the same year Henry Mayes, 
afterwards Lord Mayor of York. 

After her father's death Margaret continued to live 
with her mother and stepfather until her marriage in 
1571 to John Clitherow, a butcher by trade, living in 
Great Manger Gate. Up to that time she had at- 
tended only Protestant services, but in 1574, "two 
or three years at the most after her marriage, when 
she first heard of the Catholic Faith and Church 
(for before she frequented the heretical service, not 
suspecting there had been any other way to serve 
God), she became as desirous to learn the Christian 
duty in truth and sincerity, as she had learned be- 
fore to serve the world vainly ; and, after a little 
consideration . . . she carefully employed herself 
to know plainly the same, and to become a lively 
member of the Church, wherein this faith had been 
taught and preached. Even at the first, she fully 
resolved rather to forsake husband, life and all, 
than to return again to her damnable state ; and this 
gracious desire she then more speedily accomplished 
(not without contradiction of her worldly friends), than 
at any time after she could peaceably enjoy the same." ^ 

John Clitherow, while himself remaining a Pro- 
testant, seems to have placed no obstacles in the 
way of his wife's conversion, but to have allowed her 
both then and afterwards absolute freedom in the 
exercise of her religion and in the Catholic education 
of their children. His own brothers were both Catho- 
lics, William being a priest, and Thomas a draper, 
afterwards a prisoner for the faith in York Castle. 

^ John Mush, Lt/e of Margaret Clitherow^ p. 368. 


When Margaret had been a Catholic for about two 
years, the Lord Mayor and City Council sent a re- 
turn to the Court of Ecclesiastical Commission of all 
" who, neglecting their duties to God and the Queen's 
Majesty, will in nowise come to their parish churches 
to hear the divine service of Almighty God, accord- 
ing to His laws and the laws of this realm " (6 June, 
Eliz. i8, 1576. Edm. Richardson, Mayor). 

In the list under the heading of " Christ's Parish " 
appears " Uxor Johis. Clithero ". 

The list was answered by orders in the Queen's 
name to examine those who refused to attend their 
parish church, and an account of the examinations 
was sent to the Council of the North in November, 
1576. Under the heading of " Monkewarde" we find 
the following : — 

Christ's Margaret Clitherow (in prisona, in rnarg.). 

Parish wife of John Clitherow, butcher, cometh 
not to the Church, for what cause we can- 
not learn, for she is now great with child, 
and could not come before us. 

The same John sayeth he is worth in 
clear goods £6, and so we think. 

The marginal note shows that Margaret was 
already in prison for her faith, and her confessor, 
John Mush, from whose life of her the greater part 
of our information is gathered, tells us that "she 
hath been ... for her . . . constancy in the Catholic 
faith, divers times separated from her husband and 
children, cast into prison, sometimes by the space of 
two years together, and sometimes by more. . . . 
The prison she accounted a most happy and profit- 


able school, where . . . she sucked honey out of the 
poison of her enemies. They persecuted her and she 
thereby learned patience ; they shut her up into close 
prison and she thereby learned to forget and despise 
the world ; they separated her from house, children 
and husband, and she thereby became familiar with 
God ; they sought to terrify her and she thereby in- 
creased in the most glorious constancy and fortitude, 
insomuch that her greatest joy was to be assaulted 
by them." 

In the intervals of her imprisonment, when living 
quietly in her husband's house, Margaret continued 
to practise the lessons learnt in confinement and 
endeavoured in all things to lead a life of most perfect 
virtue. " In (the) tranquillity of a humble spirit she 
lived in exceeding joy. Her external actions dis- 
covered the true humility of her heart, for there was 
nothing to be done in the house so base that she 
would not be most ready to do or take in hand her- 
self, and the baser the office should be, the more un- 
willing would she be the maidens should do it, but 
rather keep it as a necessary exercise in store for 
herself of her own humility." 

Her love of God was shown " in a hearty sorrow 
and humble repentance " of all her faults — -especially 
those of a youth spent in schism — and in a constant 
purpose never willingly to offend Him even in the 
smallest matter, "... in all her actions it evidently 
appeared that she loved Him whom she continually 
served, and joyfully served Him whom she loved 
above all things ". 

Her love of God overflowed in active love and care 


for her neighbour. Kind and helpful to all, ^lie 
provided to the utmost of her power for those of the 
"household of faith"; instructing the young or 
unlearned in the doctrines of the true religion ; 
secretly helping Catholic prisoners, and providing 
for the bodily and spiritual needs of those yet at 

After the execution in 1582 of the earlier York 
martyrs, Margaret's veneration for those holy priests 
wsis shown by the pilgrimages she made to the place 
of their death. These expeditions had to be under- 
taken secretly and at night for fear of spies. The 
York Tyburn was some half-mile distant from the 
city, across Ousebridge and through Micklegate Bar. 
Father Mush writes that it was Margaret's custom 
to walk there barefoot and to pray and meditate on 
her knees under the gallows "where she earnestly 
wished (if it were God's will) for the same Catholic 
cause to end her life ". While thus venerating the 
martyrs she was no less eager to serve the living 
priests. They were always welcome in her home 
and she prepared a small room adjoining the house 
where they could stay unseen by her neighbours. 
When the times were too dangerous to allow this 
room to be used, she prepared another at some 
distance to which it was more difficult for her 
personally to have access. She cheerfully endured 
this deprivation, saying : *' Though I cannot come as 
I desire, yet it doth me good and much comforteth 
me that I know I have you here, and that God is in 
any way served by my means ". 

When the penal laws against priests and all who 


aided them were more strictly enforced, Margaret 
abated nothing of the fervour of her welcome to God's 
ministers, but said : " By God's grace all priests shall 
be more welcome to me than ever they were, and I 
will do what I can to set forward God's Catholic 
service ". Her confessor reminded her that per- 
severance in that resolution might well bring her to 
the gallows. '' God's will be done," said she, " but 
I am far unworthy of that honour." 

Her spiritual life has been briefly portrayed by her 
confessor. Every morning, on rising, she spent at 
least an hour and a half in prayer. Then, whenever 
possible, she heard Mass, approaching the Sacraments 
of Penance and Holy Eucharist twice a week. Her 
great delight was to kneel where she could look upon 
the Blessed Sacrament, and, when she could do so 
without being remarked, she would choose a seat in 
a corner behind the rest of the worshippers. During 
the day while about her business she endeavoured to 
keep her mind continually fixed on God, and to have 
the actual as well as the habitual intention of doing 
all to His honour and glory. About four o'clock 
if her duties permitted, she would pray for an hour 
with her children ; and at eight or nine o'clock 
having obtained her confessor's blessing, she spent 
another hour in prayer before retiring to rest. On 
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays she ate no 
meat and took only one meal ; while on Fridays she 
fasted on bread and water and used a discipline 
whenever leave was given her. 

Margaret had been living at liberty, though under 
surveillance, for 5il?0ut eighteen months, when on 



10 March, 1586, her husband was summoned to 
appear before the Councillors. On his being called 
before them for the second time on the afternoon of 
the same day, Margaret, expecting that the house 
•would be searched, removed a priest, who had just 
arrived, into the lower hiding-place. The Sheriffs 
with their officers arrived soon after. Mr. Stapleton, 
tutor to the children, managed to escape, and in their 
rage at this the searchers took Margaret with her 
children and servants away with them. Among 
the servants was a small Flemish boy of about 
twelve years of age ; the pursuivants threatened 
him with a rod and so terrified him that he 
showed them the priest's hiding-place. There they 
found vestments and other articles for the service 
of the Church, all of which they removed to the 

Margaret and her husband were placed in separate 
prisons in York Castle, only once being allowed to 
see each other in the presence of the jailers at what 
proved to be their last meeting on earth. On 12 
March, Anne Tesh was imprisoned with Margaret 
on the testimony of the Flemish boy. The two 
spent the time until Monday, 14 March, in prayer and 
abstinence with so much joy that Margaret said 
several times : " Sister, we are so merry together that,* 
unless we be parted, I fear we shall lose (the merit) 
of our imprisonment ". 

After dinner on the 14th she was taken to the 
Common Hall before the judges Clinch and Rhodes 
and several of the Council. They asked her if she were 
guilty or not of having harboured priests, traitors to 


the Queen and to the laws, and of having heard Mass. 
She answered that she was guilty of no offence against 
the Queen, and being well aware that there was no 
evidence against her but the unsupported word of the 
Flemish boy, she steadily refused, to plead, lest at her 
trial her friends and children should be forced to give 
evidence and her death lie at their door. The Court 
adjourned that evening without pronouncing sentence, 
and Margaret was taken to a house on Ousebridge 
belonging to John Trewe, " where she was shut up in 
a close parlour". On the way from the Hall to her 
new prison she gave alms to the crowds who thronged 
the streets to see her pass. 

Next morning she was taken back to the Common 
Hall and again refused to plead. When the Judge 
threatened her with the extreme law provided for 
such cases, the Protestant preacher Wigginton 
solemnly warned him that he ought not " either by 
God's laws or man's, to judge her to die upon the 
slender witness of a boy '\ Clinch then made a fresh 
appeal to Margaret, but finding her immovable yielded 
her to the impatience of the Council and pronounced 
sentence upon her for refusing to stand trial. He 
said : — 

'* If you will not put yourself to the country, this 
must be your judgment : 

" You must return from whence you came, and 
there in the lowest part of the prison, be stripped 
naked, laid down, your back upon the ground, and as 
much weight laid on you as you are able to bear, and 
so continue three days without meat or drink, except 
a little barley bread and puddle water, and the third 



day be pressed to death, your hands and feet bound 
to posts, and a sharp stone under your back ". 

The martyr prayed for the Judge who condemned 
her, saying: *' If this judgment be according to your 
own conscience, I pray God send you better judg- 
ment before Him. I thank God heartily for this " ; 
and on his pressing her to reconsider her decision she 
answered : " God be thanked, all that He shall send 
me shall be welcome ; I am not worthy of so good 
a death as this : I have deserved death for mine 
offences towards God, but not for anything that I am 
accused of". 

She was then pinioned by the Sheriff's officers and 
led back to the prison, passing through the streets 
with such a cheerful countenance that some said : 
** It must needs be that she received comfort from 
the Holy Ghost ". 

When he heard of her condemnation her husband 
" fared like a man out of his wits," and cried : " Alas ! 
will they kill my wife ? Let them take all I have 
and save her, for she is the best wife in all England 
and the best Catholic." He was released on the 
Sunday, 20 March, and told to absent himself for five 

In the meantime Puritan ministers and other here- 
tics were troubling the peace of Margaret's prison by 
arguments against the Church and by imploring her 
to save herself and conform to the Statutes. Four 
women also visited her by the Judge's order to find 
out whether she was expecting again to become a 
mother, but to these she returned no direct reply. 

At last Clinch consented to the execution, only 


Stipulating that it should not be carried out before 
the following Friday, 25 March. Each day still 
brought visitors who endeavoured to shake her con- 
stancy, among them her step-father, Henry Mayes, 
then Lord Mayor. When he found he could not 
move her, he asked her to give* him her daughter 
Anne, which she refused, because " that she was loth 
her child should be infected with his heresy ". 

On Tuesday she was told that Friday was fixed 
for her execution. She sent word to her friends to 
pray for her perseverance, and she *' kneeling down 
and praying a little, the fear and horror of death 
presently departed ". From that time she took no 
food at all until her death. She was sharing a room 
with a man named Yoward and his wife, and the 
woman related that on the night of Thursday to 
Friday Margaret asked if some one would sit up with 
her, " not for fear of death, for that is my comfort, 
but the flesh is frail ". As no one could be procured 
Mrs. Yoward sat up with her till midnight, when 
Margaret, putting on the long linen robe she had 
made to suffer in, prayed kneeling for three hours, 
and then rested till six o'clock. 

At eight o'clock the Sheriffs came to conduct her 
to the Tolbooth on the opposite side of the street. 
She walked bare-foot, carrying the linen habit. Ar- 
rived at the place of execution, she knelt down and 
prayed for the Catholic Church, the Pope, all in 
charge of souls, and all Christian Princes, *' especi- 
ally for Elizabeth, Queen of England, that God turn 
her to the CathoHc faith, and that after this mortal 
life she may receive the blessed joys of heaven ". 


Sheriff Fawcet wished her to confess that she died 
for treason. ** No, no, Mr. Sheriff," she answered, 
*' I die for the love of my Lord Jesu." Then the 
women helped her to remove her clothes and put on 
the linen robe. She laid herself on the ground and 
they placed a handkerchief on her face, the door was 
laid upon her and her hands were tied to two posts. 
After a few more questions answered by the martyr 
with meek firmness, weights were laid upon the door, 
and after fifteen minutes of intense agony her soul 
passed " with marvellous triumph into the peaceable 
city of God, there to receive a worthy crown of end- 
less immortality and joy". The last words she was 
heard to speak were : '* Jesu ! Jesu ! Jesu ! have mercy 
on me ! " 

The body was left in the press from her death at 
nine o'clock until three that afternoon. The same 
evening it was flung into a filthy hole near the city 
walls. After six weeks a Catholic searched and found 
it " whole without any putrefaction ".^ He with 
others took it a long journey on horseback, *' to a 
place where it rested six days unembowelled, before 
necessary preservatives could be gotten "} After 
this it was buried as " pure and uncorrupted as 
though the blessed soul had departed from the body 
the day before ". 

We have no knowledge of the place of burial of 
the Blessed Martyr, but a hand evidently cut off at 
the time of interment, is preserved at the Bar Con- 
vent, York. The flesh still remains, though brown 

^ Ancient Editor's Note-book. 

- A Yorkshire Recusant's Relation. 


with age, and the fingers are contracted as if by 

Margaret's daughter Anne, after suffering imprison- 
ment in York for adhering to the CathoHc Faith, 
found means to escape from England, and became a 
nun in St. Ursula's Convent, Louvain. Her son 
Henry, whom she had sent to Douay without his 
father's knowledge in 1585, became a priest, as also 
did his brother William. 

Well may we ask the Venerable Margaret, in the 
words addressed to her by her confessor after her 
martyrdom, to obtain for us grace from Our Lord 
" that (we) may honour Him by imitation of thy 
happy life, and by any death, which He will give 
(us), to be partaker with thee and all holy saints of 
His kingdom, to whom be all glory and honour, now 
and for ever. Amen." 

A. R. 

Authorities. — The chief authority for this martyr is the life 
written by her confessor, John Mush, of which three MSS. are 
extant, (i) Middleton MS., printed by Father Morris in Troubles, 
iii., (2) York Bar MS., published under editorship of W. Nicholson 
in 1849, and (3) Oscott MS.' The best recent life is by J. B. 
Milburn, A Martyr of Old York (Bums and Gates, 1900). See 
also Challoner, Bridgewater, and Yepez. 

Relics.— (i) Hand, preserved at the Bar Convent, York. 
(2) Hair, in the possession of the Archbishop of Westminster. 





Tyburn, 20 April, 1586. 

Richard Sergeant, of the diocese of Gloucester, 
possibly a member of the family of that name settled 
at Stone, Gloucestershire, took the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts in the University of Oxford, 20 February, 
1570-1,^ and arrived at the English College at Rheims, 
25 July, 1 58 1. He was ordained subdeacon, appar- 
ently at Rheims, 14 April, 1582, deacon at Soissons, 

9 or 10 June, 1582, and priest at Laon, 7 April, 1583, 
said his first Mass 21 April, and left for England, 

10 September, 1583. Nothing is known of the place 
of his labours or of his arrest. 

His fellow-martyr, William Thomson, was born at 
Blackburn, in Lancashire. He arrived at the English 
College at Rheims, 28 May, 1583, and was ordained 
priest in the chapel of the Holy Cross in Rheims 
Cathedral by the Cardinal Archbishop, Louis de 
Guise. He laboured chiefly in London, where he is 
reported to have been entertained by Sir John Arun- 

1 Boase, Register of the University of Oxford, i. (Oxford, 
1885), 281. 


dell of Lanherne, who at that time was confined to 
a house which he had rented at Ely Place, Holborn. 
As to the time and place of his arrest there is some 
doubt. Father Morris says that he was taken at the 
house of Robert Bellamy of Harrow-on-the-Hill, on 
30 June, 1585, or 30 January, 1585-6. It would 
seem, however, that he was taken at the house of 
Roger Lyne, the husband of Ven. Anne Lyne, in 
Bishopsgate Street Without, while saying Mass. 
Roger Lyne, and William Higham, Mrs. Lyne's 
brother, both at the time under nineteen years of age, 
were assisting at his Mass and were arrested. The 
former is said to have been committed to the Wood 
Street Counter, 3 February, 1583, which must be a 
mistake for 1585-6. The latter is said to have been 
committed to the same prison, 30 July, 1585. Both 
were still there 14 June, 1586, being then '' in execu- 
tion for 100 marks apiece ". 

In the sessions of oyer and terminer held at the 
Justice Hall, in the Old Bailey, 18 April, 1586, 
William Thompson alias Blackburn, and Richard 
Lea alias Long (i.e. Sergeant) were condemned for 
treason under 27 Eliz. c. 2, merely for being priests 
and coming into this realm. 

Both were hanged, bowelled, and quartered at 
Tyburn two days later. 

J. B. W. 

Authorities. — Douay Diaries. Trials of Nicholas Wood- 
fen^ etc.^ C.R.S. V. 129. Prison Lists. C.R.S. ii. 247-50, 255, 
271. Morris, Troubles^ \\. Notes and Queries^ nth Series, iii. 
491. Challoner, i. 179. 





Isle of Wight, 25 April, 1586. 

Both these martyrs were Lancashire men. Mr. 
Gillow is of opinion that the former was a son of 
Hugh Anderton of Euxton Hall by his second wife, 
Alice, daughter of Alexander Standish of Standish 
Hall,^ and that the latter was born in the parish of 
Chipping, and was a son of a recusant yeoman of 
Thornley named Richard Marsden.^ Father Warford 
says they were friends from early youth till death, 
and thinks that both were at Oxford together. 
" I knew Anderton intimately at St. Mary Hall," he 
writes, " and Marsden, unless my memory deceives 
me, was at Brasenose." ^ However, there is no record 
of the matriculation of any Marsden at Oxford in the 
sixteenth century, and the only Robert Anderton 
whose matriculation there is recorded about this 

^ C.R.S. Pub. vi. 234, correcting by implication Bibl. 
Diet. Eng. Cath. i. 41. 

2 Bibl Diet. Eng. Cath. iv. 464. "" Pollen, A.E.M. 67. 


time, is one of this name of Brasenose College, who 
matriculated 20 July, 1578, aged eighteen. He in- 
deed is of Lancashire, but is described as of plebeian 
origin,^ whereas, according to Father Warford, our 
martyr " was sprung from the distinguished family of 
the name, though his parents were not wealthy ". 
However, probably Father Warford's memory did 
deceive him, and Anderton was at Brasenose, while 
Marsden was at St. Mary Hall. 

The two future martyrs went to Douay together, 
where they were received into the Church by " a 
Jesuit, called Father Columbine," ^ i.e. doubtless 
Father John Columb, or Cullam, B.A., S.J.,^ and 
they arrived, together with six companions at the 
English College, Rheims, on 10 July, 1580. Both 
received minor orders in Rheims Cathedral, 25 
March, 1581, at the hands of Monsignor Cosme 
Clausse de Marchaumont, Bishop of Chalons-sur- 
Marne. Anderton was ordained subdeacon, 24 Sep- 
tember, 1584, and priest, 31 March, 1584-5, in Rheims 
Cathedral by Cardinal de Guise ; but even before he 
was admitted to major orders he was regarded as an 
excellentipreacher, and in April, 1583, he was selected 

^Brasenose College Register {Oy.. Hist. Soc. 1910), 53. The 
words " plebei filius " may also mean no more than that the 
student paid the lower fees of a plebeian ; see O.H.S. II. i. xxv. 

2 Pollen, op. ciL 76. 

^He entered Winchester College in 1558 from Farway, 
Devon, and was Fellow of New College, Oxford, from 1 564 to 
1 57 1 (Kirby, Winchester Scholars^ 135). He joined the Society 
in 1 572 at Louvain, and died at Douay in 1 582 (Foley, Rec. Eng. 
Prov., SJ.). 


out of the whole college to deliver an oration, still 
extant in the Westminster Archives, in the presence 
of the chief authorities of Rheims, ecclesiastical and 
civil. '* Anderton taught me Hebrew," writes Father 
Warford, " and afterwards went through the Psalms 
of David with me privately, pretending that he would 
like me in return to teach him Greek, lest I the elder 
should be ashamed to learn of him without remunera- 
tion. He taught extremely well, and quickly, and 
was very proficient in the sacred language, chiefly 
on account of his intimacy with Gregory Martin, and 
William Reynold, both well skilled in that tongue. 
He took great pains in helping the latter while he 
was writing his books, especially against Whitaker. 
He was skilful in controversies, and not deficient in 
scholastic learning." Of his method in the pulpit. 
Father Warford records that " he was somewhat 
disposed \o blush on account of a certain virginal 
modesty, but in other respects he was very calm in 
preaching both in voice and manner". 

William Marsden was ordained subdeacon in Dec- 
ember, 1584, and deacon 16 March, 1584-5. It is not 
recorded when he was ordained priest. Though not 
so brilliant as Anderton, he appears to have made 
his mark in the College. " When it was deter- 
mined," writes Father Warford, '* to establish a 
junior school for those who were not fit for theology, 
these two were chosen as examples and patterns of 
virtue, to be prefects over the boys. This office they 
discharged for a long time, until God called them 
both (for they were never divided either in affection 
or occupation) to set out for England." This they 


did, in the company of another young priest, William 
Yeomans, on 4 February, 1585-6. 

We do not know where they parted from Yeomans, 
nor from what port they set sail, nor whither they 
were bound. All that we are told is that soon after 
they left the French coast a storm arose, and, that 
in answer to their prayers, their ship came safe to 
harbour somewhere in the Isle of Wight. 

They were at once arrested, and brought before a 
local justice of the peace, to whom it would appear 
that they acknowledged their priesthood, and by 
whom they were committed to Winchester Jail to be 
tried at the Lent Assizes then imminent. They were 
indicted under 27 Eliz. c. 2, a recent Act, for being 
priests and coming into the realm, before the Chief 
Justice of the Common Pleas, Sir Edmund Anderson 
and another Judge of Assize. According to Father 
Warford, Cowper, the Bishop of Winchester, took a 
prominent part in the trial, in the course of which 
" he taunted the priests with the foulness of Pope 
Joan, and dilated on that fable with many words ". 
To this Anderton replied that, even if the story were 
true, instead of being " only the foul fabrication of 
heretics long since exploded," it did not lie in Cow- 
per's mouth " to propound so absurd a contumely ". 
Cowper asked why. " Because," said Anderton, '* the 
basis of your faith, the citadel of your religion, is this, 
that you profess a woman to be Head of your Church. 
Surely whether we call her Pope Joan or Pope Eliza- 
beth matters little. With what face then, can you 
object that to us as an infamy, which is your special 
glory ? How taunt the Roman See with that which 


you proudly regard as the bulwark of your religion ? " 
To this the Bishop could make no reply. 

Bishop Challoner states that in the course of their 
trial the martyrs pleaded that they ''had not re- 
mained in the kingdom before their commitment the 
number of days mentioned in the statute ". He must 
be referring to section lo which provides that the 
Act is not to extend to any priest submitting himself 
and taking the Oath of Supremacy within three days 
of coming into the realm. He also states that they 
pleaded that they had been *' cast upon shore against 
their will ". Mr. Gillow, however, says that it was 
one of the Judges who suggested that plea, saying 
that no doubt they were bound for Scotland, and that 
the priests refused to plead a lie, saying that they 
intended to come to England to exercise there their 
priestly functions and reconcile souls to God and the 
Church. There is no doubt that they signified their 
recognition of the Queen's supremacy in civil causes ; 
and it was afterwards stated, though the martyrs 
denied it, that they promised *' that they would at 
all times adventure their lives in defence of her 
Majesty and her realm against the Pope . . . and 
that they would not meddle or persuade with any in 
matter of religion, but only keep their own consciences 
to themselves". In the event the jury found the 
prisoners guilty, and indetd it would seem they could 
not have done otherwise in view of the provisions of 
the Statute. Father Warford says that Sir Edmund 
"would not pronounce the capital sentence"; but 
that would seem to be an error. They doubtless 
*' had sentence to die," as Bishop Challoner states; 


but the execution of the sentence was delayed, until 
the will of the Privy Council became known, and the 
Judges wrote to the Council pointing out the con- 
formity of the prisoners to the Queen in civil causes. 
In consequence the Council by letter, dated 10 March, 
ordered that they should be sent up to London to the 
Marshalsea.^ They arrived there before 16 March, 
on which day the Council sent a letter to Ralph 
Rokeby, the Master of St. Katherine's, and to John 
Hammond, LL.D., Chancellor of the Diocese of Lon- 
don, and M.P. for Rye, to examine the prisoners, 
'* concerning their obedience and subject-like duty to 
her Majesty and the Estate, and if they find that 
they remain constant in the faithful protestations 
that they did use before the Justices of the Assizes 
at the time of their arraignment, to cause them to 
set down the same in writing, and subscribe there- 
unto, that thereupon her Majesty may be moved to 
extend mercy unto them, &c." Father Warford 
writes that Cowper " prevailed by his importunity on 
the exceedingly timid Judge, that these priests should 
accompany him to London ; and this was done at 
his cost". He adds that "the old man set oif for 
London to his great inconvenience and cost, obtained 
an interview with the Queen, and told her the whole 
story ; from her he obtained licence for their execu- 
tion, and then carried the Martyrs, bound hand and 
foot as before, back to the Isle of Wight ". 

Although, as we have seen, and shall see, this 
account is not literally accurate, it may well be that 

^ Dasent, Ac^s of the Privy Council^ xiv. 26. Pollen, op. cit. 
74. They were removed to London at the public expense. 


it was Cowper's influence at Court that made the 
examination in London take on a different complexion 
from the trial at Winchester. Probably both the 
Judges of Assize were in favour of clemency. Cer- 
tainly the inquisitors in London were for a rigorous 
application of the new law. Anderton was asked 
" whether he did acknowledge her Majesty to be 
lawful Queen, notwithstanding any sentence, which 
the Pope either had given, or could give, against her, 
and whether he meant that it was his duty, and the 
duties of all her Majesty's subjects, to withstand the 
Pope, not only if his invasion were for temporal 
respects, as to make conquest of the realm, but also 
if he would attempt such invasion by force to reduce 
the realm to his obedience by colour of religion ". 
To this Anderton answered that he " required to be 
respited until such cases should happen," adding 
that in the meantime he might become a Protest- 
ant, and so become of other opinion than he was 
then of. 

" William Marsden, to the same questions before 
propounded to Anderton, answered that he acknow- 
ledged her Majesty to be lawful Queen of this realm, 
and of other her dominions ; and that he took him- 
self bound to obey her Majesty, so far as his obedience 
impeached not his duties to God and to the Church 
(meaning the Church of Rome) : requiring that he 
might not be asked his opinion any further, until such 
case of sentence given by the Pope should happen : 
and further saith, that in case the Pope would send 
any forces into the realm, to reduce the same to the 
Catholic Religion (meaning Popery), he would then 


do the duty of a priest, that is, he would pray that 
right might take place." 

Both priests also denied that they had ever 
promised not to proselytize, and to " keep their own 
conscience to themselves," but on the contrary 
asserted that their one object in coming into the 
realm was to reconcile their fellow-countrymen to the 

Even so, there was no haste towards the now in- 
evitable execution, and it was not till 10 April that 
the Council wrote to Sir George Carey, Captain or 
Governor of the Isle of Wight, ordering him to confer 
with the Under-sheriff of Hampshire as where the 
execution was to be carried out. It was to be either 
at the place of their landing or in some other fit 
place or places. Sir George was informed that the 
prisoners would be in the custody of the Sheriff of 
Hampshire at Winchester by 21 April. At the same 
time the Sheriff was ordered to see that the *' Declara- 
tion " which is printed by Father Pollen (pp. 75-80) 
should be openly read and published at the time of 
their execution, and that copies thereof should be 
fixed in public places that the people might know 
first why they had been reprieved, and secondly why 
they had been executed. On 17 April the Council 
furnished Thomas Tailour, servant of the Knight 
Marshal, with a " placard " for aid and assistance in 
conveying of the two priests to Winchester. He set 
out with "three of his fellows . . . and a guide," 
and on his return received £g for ''horsecheer, diets, 
watches, and other charges". 

They were executed " on some high ground in 


sight of the moaning sea," probably on the site of 
their landing, on 25 April, 1586. They were offered 
their lives if they would recant, but in vain. They 
" underwent the extreme penalty, being hanged, 
disembowelled, and mangled ". 

*' Anderton," writes Father Warford, *' was of 
moderate height, but somewhat less than Marsden ; 
the latter had always a pale complexion. Anderton 
had a more manly countenance, but had evidently 
suffered from sickness when a child. Both had black 
eyes, beards slight, which would have been brown 
when fully grown. Both of them were most unas- 
suming, but full of life and spirits, and they were re- 
markable for their piety and zeal for sacred things." 

J. B. W. 

Authorities.— Watford's Reminiscences^ A.E.M. 65-75. 
Benjamin Norton to Bishop of Chalcedony C.R.S. v. 393-8. 
Douay Diaries. Declaration of the Queen, A.E.M. 75-82. 
Dasent, Acts of the Privy Council, xiv. 26, etc. Brasenose 
College Register (Ox. Hist. Soc), 53. Gillow, Challoner, etc. 



York, 3 June, 1586. 

Born in or about 1551/ Francis Ingleby was the 
fourth son of Sir William Ingleby, knight, of Ripley, 
Yorkshire, treasurer of Berwick-upon-Tweed, by 
Anne, daughter of Sir Williani Mallory, knight, 
of Studley.^ He became a scholar of Brasenose 
College, Oxford, about 1562, and was admitted a 
student at the Inner Temple in 1577.^ He was 
afterwards called to the bar. Father Warford says 
that he saw him in 1583 (the date must be wrong) 
"when he had made a good start in his profession, 
and heard him commenting with great discretion 
but very fluently, on the frauds practised by the Earl 
of Leicester in perverting the laws of the country ".* 
He arrived at the English College at Rheims, 18 

^ According to the newly discovered portrait at Ripley (as to 
which, see p. 215), he would have been bom in 1557, but there 
seems to be an error, because he went to Oxford about 1562, 
when he must have been much older than five. 

"^ Harleian Soc. Publ. xvi. 172. 

^Brasenose College Register (Oxford, 1909), 32. Students 
Admitted to the Inner Temple (London, 1877), 84. 

^Pollen, A.E.M. 258. 

an 14 * 


August, 1582, and lived there at his own expense, 
studying scholastic theology, and at the same time 
cases of conscience. He was ordained subdeacon at 
Laon on Saturday, 28 May, deacon at Rheims on 
Saturday, 24 September, and priest at Laon on Satur- 
day, 24 December, 1583, celebrating his first Mass on 
Christmas Day, and left for the English mission on 
Thursday, 5 April, 1584. His short missionary career 
seems to have been spent in Yorkshire, where, Father 
Warford says, " he was most highly esteemed by all 
Catholics on account of his great zeal for souls, and 
especially for his remarkable prudence ". 

The manner of his arrest, which took place in the 
spring of 1586, is thus given by Father Warford. 

" On a certain day he left York on foot and in 
the dress of a poor man without a cloak, and was 
courteously accompanied beyond the gates by a cer- 
tain Catholic of that city. The gentleman, though 
intending to return at once, stayed for a few moments' 
conversation with the priest on an open spot, which, 
unknown to the priest, was overlooked by the windows 
of the Bishop's Palace. It happened that two chap- 
lains of the pseudo-bishop, idly talking there, espied 
them, and noticed that the Catholic as he was taking 
leave, frequently uncovered to Ingleby, and showed 
him, while saying good-bye, greater marks of respect 
than were fitting towards a common person meanly 
dressed. They ran therefore and made inquiries, and 
finding he was a priest they apprehended him." 

Another contemporary writer, on the other hand, 
says,^ that our martyr was going to, not from, York, 

^ Pollen, o/f. cit. 304. 


when " a Catholic gentleman, by name Mr. Lassie/ 
met him in a place called Bishopfields, and kneeling 
down craved his blessing, which being espied by one 
of the President's men, he was taken and brought to 
the Council ". 

This writer goes on : " They said unto him they 
marvelled, that he being a gentleman of so great 
calling would abase himself to be a priest. He 
answered that he made more account of his priest- 
hood than of all other titles whatsoever. Brought 
unto the Castle, he had a pair of fetters laid upon 
his legs at the prison door. The Catholic prisoners 
craved his blessing. With smiling countenance he 
said, ' I fear me I shall be overproud of my new 
boots,' meaning his fetters. In the time of his im- 
prisonment a minister came in to him for to dis- 
pute, &c." 

Another contemporary writer, who is probably the 
priest John Mush, writes as follows ^ : — " After Whit- 
sunday next following Sir Thomas Fairfax, vice-presi- 
dent, [Henry] Cheeke,^ Hurlstone [i.e. Ralph Huddle- 
stone], and the rest, arraigned Mr. Francis Ingleby, 
condemned and murdered him as a traitor, because 
he was a priest of Rheims. With him they used 
much guileful dealing, that they might entangle him 
with an oath to disclose in what Catholic men's 

^ I.e. doubtless, as Father Pollen suggests, a relative of Blessed 
William Lacy. 

^ Morris, Troubles^ iii. 87, 88. 

^ " Cheek, one of the Council of York, having derided Mr. 
Francis Ingleby for making a cross at the bar, within a few hours 
broke his neck down a pair of stairs " (Pollen, op. cit. 322). 


houses he had been harboured, but they could not 
deceive him. When he was about to speak anything, 
they stopped him with railing and blasphemies, over- 
thwarting him in every word, and interrupting him 
by one frivolous question upon another, that before 
he had answered two words to one matter, they came 
upon him with another, insomuch that many noted 
how they would not suffer him to make a perfect 
end of any one sentence ; which barbarous dealing 
is a special point of their policy, for they cannot 
abide that the people should hear us speak any word, 
either in defence or manifestation of our Catholic 
cause, or of their sacrilegious tyranny, wherewith 
they no less fraudulently undo the whole country, 
than they unjustly oppress us." 

" Being arraigned, and refusing to take the oaths 
&c., [he] said, ' I will give unto the Queen subjection 
so far forth as she hath protection '. Being adjudged 
to die, he spoke these words, Credo videre bona 
Domini in terra viveniium. Coming forth from the 
place of judgment again to the Castle, the Catholics 
looking forth of their windows craved his blessing. 
Privily he gave them it, saying, ' Oh sweet judgment '. 
After his condemnation he showed such tokens of 
inward joy that the keeper, named Mr. Meverell, said 
that he took no small pleasure to behold his sweet 
and joyful conversation ; for his joy was such that 
his keeper, a very earnest Puritan, could not abstain 
from tears." ^ 

On the appointed day he was taken over the Ouse- 
bridge to the place of execution, where '*he bore 

^ Pollen, o^. cit. 305. 


himself most constantly and bravely, and left all 
good Catholics sore afflicted at his loss ". "At his 
martyrdom one Humphrey Mountain, who would 
have taken some of his flesh or blood, was carried 
to the Castle." Ingleby and Mush were among the 
priests whom Ven. Margaret Clitherow was accused 
of having entertained. Father Warford gives the 
following account of him : " He was a short man, 
but well made, and seemed a man of thirty-five years 
of age, or thereabouts. He was of a light com- 
plexion, wore a chestnut beard, and had a slight cast 
in his eyes. In mind he was quick and piercing, 
ready and facile in speech, of aspect grave and austere, 
and earnest and assiduous in action." 

J. B. W. 

Relics. — I. Right hand. It is preserved at the Franciscan 
Convent, Taunton. It was brought to that community at 
Brussels by his three nieces, Elizabeth, Marie and Grace, who 
were professed in that community in 1624. II. A finger of a 
hard leather glove. This is at Archbishop's House, West- 
minster, and is labelled " this is forefinger of the left handed 
Gloufe of Mr. Francis Ingelby, Martir, martired at Yorke ". 

Portrait. — A small panel painting at the martyr's old home, 
Ripley Castle, now in the possession of Sir Henry Ingilby. It 
has been reproduced by Don Bede Camm, O.S.B., in Forgotten 
Shrines (London, 19 10), and shows the martyr in three-quarter 
length, turned to the right, but his eyes are gazing in the opposite 
direction. His hair is long and he has a slight moustache and 
chin tuft. He wears a lace collar and cuffs. The inscriptionjis, 
" 1585, ^TATIS SViE 28 " ; therefore it must have been painted 
after his return from Rheims : but see p. 211, n. i. 

Authorities. — Warford'' s Recollections ^ A.E.M. 249. 


Douay Diaries^ 1 90, passim. Selections from Stony hurst MSS, , 
A.E.M. 304. Morris, Troubles^ iii. 308, 411-19. Harleian 
Society Publ. xvi. 172. Brasenose College Register^ 32. Students 
Admitted to the Inner Temple^ 84. Camm, Forgotten Shrines, 




York, 8 August, 1586. 

So little is known of this venerable martyr that un- 
fortunately he remains little more than a name to us. 
He was born at Barneby, near Howden, a little to the 
north of the Humber in the East Riding of Yorkshire. 
He was educated at Cambridge, though no particulars 
of his university career are known, and in 1580 went 
to Rheims to study for the priesthood. He arrived 
there in company with Christopher Ingram on 9 
February, 1580. A year later, on 21 February, he was 
ordained deacon, and though his ordination to the 
diaconate is not recorded in the College diary it must 
have taken place very soon ; for on 25 March he was 
ordained priest in company with thirteen others, in- 
cluding several future martyrs, in the Church of Our 
Lady at Rheims. The ordaining prelate was Mon- 
signor Cosme Clausse de Marchaumont, Bishop of 
Chalons-sur-Marne. The first Masses of the new 
priests were spread over several days, and John 
Finglow — or Finglie, as he is called in the Diary — 
took his turn on 3 April, together with two other 



martyrs, Blessed Everard Hanse and Ven. John 
Amias. On 24 April he left Rheims for England in 
company with Blessed Everard Hanse, and two 
other priests, Henry Clinch and Thomas Freeman. 
Of his five years' work in England we only know 
that it lay " in the northern parts of England," and 
that at length he was arrested and imprisoned in St. 
Peter's Prison, York. The only incident recorded 
of his imprisonment is connected with the heroic 
confessor of Christ, Frances Webster, who died in 
prison for the faith on 29 June, 1585, so that John 
Finglow must have been captured and imprisoned 
considerably more than a year before his martyrdom. 
In Father Grene's Collectanea F, there is an account 
of this young Catholic lady, in which we read : " When 
a priest of God was put into a low prison under her, 
into a deep and darksome dungeon, this blessed 
maiden found the means to open a grate, and to let 
in some light unto him into darkness. But, O God ! 
how lightsome and how joyful a heart had he, when 
he considered her purity, when he heard her comfort- 
able speeches proceeding from a chosen vessel of the 
Holy Ghost, when he felt also her true charity. For 
she obtained him a gown for the clothing of his body 
in the day, and to stand him instead of a bed in the 
night. And when she was examined for this work 
of mercy, she boldly answered that she had given it, 
and that if it were to give, she would give it, and show 
any work of mercy to the anointed of God." That 
this priest was John Finglow is attested both by a note 
in the margin and by the account of the prisoner in 
Ousebridge Kidcote, whose recollections have been 


printed by Father Morris, and who there records the 
same incident. 

No details of the martyr's trial and execution have 
been preserved, but Bishop Challoner cites Molanus 
to the effect that " he suffered with that generous 
courage, which seems to have been natural to the 
seminarists from the very beginning, and with an 
ardent zeal for the confirmation of religion ". 

E. H. B. 

Authorities.— Challoner ;Z>^2^«/Z>/<3r?>j; Morris, Troubles, 
iii. ; and Foley's Records, vol. iii. This martyr's name though 
given by Wilson, is omitted from Dr. Worthington's catalogues 
of 1608 and 16 14. 



Gloucester, ii August, 1586. 

John Sandys, of the diocese of Chester, arrived at 
the English College at Rheims 4 June, 1583, was 
ordained priest 31 March, 1583-4, in the chapel of St. 
Cross in Rheims Cathedral by the Cardinal Arch- 
bishop Louis de Guise, and was sent on the English 
mission 2 October, 1584. 

An account of his martyrdom written at the end of 
1594 c>r the beginning of 1595 has come down to us, 
and is as follows : — 

" When they had condemned him [no doubt under 
27 Eliz. c. 2], they could find none for any money to 
murder him ; they could hire no knife or other in- 
strument in all the town to mangle him. At last 
they found a most base companion, who yet was 
ashamed to be seen in that bloody action, for he 
blacked and disfigured his face, and got an old rusty 
knife, full of teeth like a sickle, with which he killed 
him. The holy Martyr had requested the High 
Sheriff (who was Paul Tracy of Stanway) to suffer 
him to hang until he died. He then granted the 



request, yet caused him to be cut down as soon as he 
was cast off the ladder. The holy man was nothing 
past himself, but said, ' Oh, Mr. Sheriff, you have 
not kept your promise'. Unto which Mr. Tracy 
replied not, but commanded his men to pull down 
the traitor, the hangman to bowel him, and himself 
laid first hands on him. The hangman did his 
bloody office, the holy Martyr ever catching his 
ragged knife in his bare hands, thereby to save him- 
self, but it was ever pulled out most forcibly, where- 
with they cut and mangled his sacred hands most 
pitifully. When he had pulled from him his bowels, 
the blessed saint cried ever with St. Stephen, ' Lord, 
forgive my persecutors,' and so fell asleep in the 

The same writer tells us that even '* the very 
common sort of people cried out upon the officers," 
and that this was the reason why Ven. Stephen 
Rowsham, who suffered at the same place in 1587, 
was allowed to hang until he was dead. 

In the MS. published by Father John Morris under 
the title An Ancient Editor s Note Book (Troubles, 
Series iii.) there is a paragraph which really re- 
lates to this martyr though it is attributed to Vener- 
able John Holford, of whom it could not possibly be 

The following is the narrative as given by Father 
Grene : — 

'' 1587. Mr. Holford, a priest apprehended in 
Gloucestershire, was there arraigned, condemned and 
executed for coming into the Realm. The man that 
was the cause of his apprehension, after his condem- 


nation came into the prison, and on his knees, with 
tears, asked him forgiveness. He continued most 
zealously in doing his function, having offered the 
most Divine sacrifice and made a very fervent and 
forcible exhortation to many Catholics there present 
in secret, for their perseverance in the Catholic faith, 
as he was at his nine hour [saying None] or there- 
abouts, word was brought him that the executioners 
staid for him at the prison gate, he desiring their 
patience a little, ended his service, blessed and kissed 
the company, and so departed to his martyrdom, 
wherein he abode such inhuman cruel butchery that 
the adversary preachers exclaimed in their sermons 
against it." The date of the martyrdom was ap- 
parently on II (but some have said 2) August, 1586. 

J. B. W. 

Authorities. — Douay Diaries^ passim. Relation of Divers 
Persecutions^ A.E.M. lyi. Morris, 7V^«<5/^j (Series iii.). Oliver, 
Collections. Simpson, Rambler^ N.S. x. 327 (Nov., 1858). 



Tyburn^ 8 October, 1586. 

In investigating the life of this martyr great care is 
needed to distinguish him from his namesake, John 
Lowe of Lancashire, who was ordained priest at 
Rheims in 1579, went on the mission in the same 
year, was afterwards imprisoned in Lancaster Castle 
for two years, and being exiled went to Rheims ; where 
he lived from June to December, 1586, thus returning 
to England about two months after our martyr's 

John Lowe, the martyr, was a Londoner, born in 
or about 1553. On reaching manhood he took Angli- 
can orders and acted as a minister, but was converted 
and went to Douay to study for the priesthood. The 
Diary calls him simply " Mr. Lowe," and it is not easy 
to determine whether it is the martyr who is intended. 
The entries in question are as follows : — 

" 1576, February. In this month Mr. Lowe left 
us for the college of Anchin. 

" 1576, April 16. Mr. Lowe, who not long before 
had crossed from England to us, returned thither. 

" 1576, June I. Mr. Lowe * nobihs ' who formerly 


stayed at the College of Anchin returning from Eng- 
land was admitted to our community. 

" 1576, October i. Five of our men, Mr. Gower 
* nobilis,' Mr. Bell, Mr. Aske, Mr. Mouche [? Mush], 
and Mr. Lowe set out for Rome." 

If this is the martyr then he would seem to have 
left England late in 1575 or early in 1576, and to 
have stayed successively for short periods at the 
College of Douay and at Anchin ; then after two 
months in England to have returned again to Douay 
for four months before leaving for Rome on i October, 
1576. But he was not admitted to the English 
College, Rome, till 19 November, 1581, so that four 
years still remain unaccounted for in order to connect 
these entries indubitably with our martyr. This 
however may be done through a memoir written at 
the Abbey of Anchin, near Douay, in December, 
1586, by the " Grand Prieur," Francois de Bar.^ 
Referring to the recent persecutions, he says : — 

" Last October there suffered in London, for the 
sake of the Catholic faith only. Master John Lowe, 
a man of distinction, who, while in exile, was in my 
employment here at Anchin, then at Cambray, then 
at Douay, a very faithful and strenuous servant. 
Afterwards he devoted himself to study, first at 
Douay, then at Rome. Returning to England, &c., 
&c., he was finally crowned with martyrdom." 

Admitted to the English College, Rome, at the 
age of twenty-eight, he took the College oath with 
several others on 15 April, 1582. He was ordained 

iDouai, Bibliotheque^ MS. cod. 811, Continuatio Chronici 
Genebrardi, autog. p. 63. 


almost immediately, receiving the subdiaconate and 
diaconate in August, and the priesthood in September. 
He was ordained (after making the Spiritual Exercises) 
by Bishop Goldwell of St. Asaph, the survivor of the 
old English Hierarchy. He then spent a full year 
continuing his studies ; till in September, 1583, he was 
ready for the mission. From the Records of the Society 
of Jesus we learn that before setting out for England 
he had an audience of Pope Gregory XIII, together 
with John Mush, John Cornelius, and Christopher 
Hodgson, his brother-priests and fellow-travellers. 
" Before setting out they kissed the foot of His Holi- 
ness, who received them most graciously, and supplied 
the funds needed for their journey. He granted them 
the same faculties as the priests sent out in April had 
obtained, and further gave them permission in case 
there should be danger in carrying a breviary to re- 
cite in its stead certain psalms or other prayers they 
might happen to know by heart." 

On his way back to England he stopped at the 
English College, then at Rheims, but resumed his 
journey shortly before Christmas, 1583. On 28 Dec- 
ember, Dr. Barrett wrote to Father Agazzario, S.J., 
that the martyr had left eight days previously, well 
in body and even stronger in soul against all dangers. 

His work as a priest lay in London, and he was 
one of those whose names are connected with the 
exorcisms which were being practised just at this 
time by a small number of priests including the Ven. 
Robert Dibdale, in whose biography sufficient parti- 
culars of this subject will be narrated. 

From a spy's report of March, 1585, we learn that 


John Lowe used frequently to resort to the house of 
Mr. Tremayne in Clerkenwell, but he was not captured 
till II May, 1586, when he was committed to the 
Clink, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. A certificate 
as to the prisoners, dated 12 June, 1586, states that 
he had not yet been examined. In a prison list dated 
September, 1586, he is bracketed with four other 
priests^ as a ** practiser," that is an exorcist. For 
the exorcisms had caused such wade interest, result- 
ing in numerous reconciliations to the Church, that 
the Government took notice of the matter. We get 
a few glimpses of the prison life of this martyr in the 
narrative of the unhappy priest Anthony Tyrrell, who 
alternately apostatized and repented for many years, 
and who accuses himself of being guilty of the blood 
of John Adams, John Lowe, and Robert Dibdale. 
When in the hands of the Government he gave them 
all the information in his power, and it was really in 
his capacity of spy that he was sent, ostensibly a 
prisoner, to the Clink on 17 September, 1586. There 
he made special efforts to entrap the saintly Jesuit, 
Father William Weston, then passing as Mr. Ed- 
monds; and as John Lowe had come under the spiritual 
influence of that brave confessor of Christ, Anthony 
Tyrrell paid him special attention. He soon found 
that John Lowe suspected him of treachery, and in 
order to lull his suspicions made a hypocritical and 
sacrilegious confession to him, and further to deceive 
Catholics the unhappy man celebrated Mass on the 
following day, as he confesses in an account written 

^ Father Edmonds (i.e. William Weston, S.J.), Ven. John 
Adams, Parry ah'as Morgan, and Ven. Edward James, 


during one of his brief fits of repentance. His other 
attempts against Father Edmonds and Mr. Lowe are 
thus described by himself: ''I observed that the 
chief dealer with Father Edmonds was a good priest 
named Mr. Lowe, and how that Mr. Lowe did write 
him many letters, as occasion served, about his neces- 
sary business, and received answers, which things I 
perverted always in evil part to Justice Young, re- 
porting what posting of letters there was to and fro, 
which no doubt but imported greatly the State ; and 
so I think verily they did import the state of the 
whole house, how the poor prisoners might find 
money to pay for their commons, to get relief to pre- 
serve themselves from famine, hunger and cold : other 
state matters I protest I knew none, to be treated by 
them. I would, besides that, be always prying in 
Mr. Lowe his chamber, among his papers, to pick 
out what I could find that might concern Father 
Edmond's overthrow." 

A little later he confesses his darker guilt : " Within 
few days after these former proceedings was the time 
come that there should be a sessions at Newgate, at 
which time commonly they miss not to bring some 
good man or other to his trial, and Justice Young 
. . . would be informed of me what man I thought 
in the Clink to be most dangerous ; and then before 
Almighty God and the world I accuse myself of im- 
peaching Mr. Lowe especially, and, as I think, Mr. 
Adams, as two of the greatest meddlers and the one 
of them to have been before a banished man,^ and 

^ Ven. John Adams had returned from his banishment of the 
previous I year. 



consequently to be more obnoxious to the law, and 
the other to be one that did much hurt both abroad 
and within the house, what resolute Papists they 
both were, . . . with such other invectives as were very 
likely to speed them ". There follows a long passage 
addressed to the three martyrs, " blessed Dibdale, 
Lowe and Adams," bewailing his treachery, testi- 
fying to their innocence and beseeching their prayers. 
It is eloquent, and would be touching if we had not 
known of the writer's subsequent falls. Unfortu- 
nately he tells us nothing further, and we have no 
account of the trial or execution of this martyr. He 
suffered at Tyburn on 8 October, 1586, with Ven. John 
Adams and Ven. Robert Dibdale. Frangois de Bar, 
cited above, adds that the mart3^r had been '* be- 
trayed and charged by a rascal, whom he had saved 
from the gallows when in Rome ". 

E. H. B. 

Authorities.— Z>/«rj/ of English College^ Rome^ Foley, 
Records^ vi. Douay Diaries. Prison Lists, C.R.S. ii. 246, 252. 
Morris, Troubles, iii. Challoner. Simpson, Rambler, N.S. viii. 
4 1 4. Relation of the Penkevels, A.E.M. 285. Law, T. G., Nine- 
teenth Century, No. ccv., March, 1894, pp. 397-411. See also 
references under Ven. Robert Dibdale. 



Tyburn, 8 October, 1586. 

John Adams is said by Bishop Challoner to have 
been born at Martinstown in Dorsetshire, and a 
Catalogue of Martyrs of 1594 also calls him a Dorset- 
shire man, as does Benjamin Norton, one of the 
seven vicars of Dr. Richard Smith, Vicar Apostolic of 
England, and Bishop of Chalcedon, who also men- 
tions a brother of his, *' a laye man, who suffered 
for justice," possibly the " Robert Adyn of dorster 
in Com. Dorset. Gent.," a recusant in the Marshalsea 
in 1582, who may be the same as the recusant '* Roger 
Adyn" who had "ben beyond seas," committed by 
the High Commissioner to the Clink in 1593, and 
still there at the end of 1595. Probably both these 
may be identified with Roger Aden of Dorchester, 
who became a scholar of Winchester College in 1544 
(aged thirteen) and was a Fellow of New College, Ox- 
ford, 1549-50. In this case Roger Adyn would be 
sixty-four in 1595. The Douay Diaries say that John 
Adams was a scholar in the University of Oxford 
and belonged to Gloucester diocese. One of this 



name compounded for the first-fruits of the Rectory 
of Sidington St. Mary, Gloucestershire, on 12 March, 
1562-3.^ However, when the priest John Chapman,^ 
who had arrived at Rheims with John Adams on 
7 December, 1579, was examined on 7 August, 1582, 
he said that John Adams went with him to London 
in 1579 " and that this Adams was beneficed allso in 
Dorsetshr at a place called Martens-towne " — i.e. 
Winterbourne St. Martin. Perhaps when he vacated 
the Rectory of Sidington St. Mary in 1571 he ob- 
tained the living of Winterbourne St. Martin. 

John Adams was ordained subdeacon at Chalons- 
sur-Marne, 31 March, 1580, by the bishop of that 
diocese, Monsignor Cosme Clausse de Marchaumont, 
and deacon and priest at Soissons in May and De- 
cember that same year, probably by the diocesan, 
Monsignor Charles de Rouci-Sissonne. He was sent 
on the mission 29 March, 1581, but returned to 
Rheims, and was again sent to England 18 June, 
1583. He was committed to the Marshalsea 7 March, 
1583-4, whence he was almost certainly banished, 
with thirty-one other priests (including John Chap- 
man) and two laymen, on 15 September, 1585. On 
landing at Boulogne on the 19th they signed the fol- 
lowing certificate : — 

" Whereas upon your honors' commission, directed 

* He vacated the living before 28 June, 1571, when one John 
Baron compounded for the first-fruits. See Composition Books, 
1 536-1660, Series iii. in the Record Office. 

^ M.A. Oxon, 1 567, Vicar of Little Cheney, Dorset, Rector 
of Langton Herring, Dorset, 1573-9, and Rector of Wheathall, 
Somerset, in 1571. 


unto Anthonie Hall, and Thomas Stockar, for the 
transporting of us whose names are under written, 
into the coasts of Normandie, who accordinglie 
tooke us into a barke called the Marie Martine 
of Colchester, on the south side of the Thames, 
right over against that part of saint Katharine's next 
to London Bridge, the fifteenth day of September, 
1585, according to the computation of England : 
our will is to testify unto your good honors, that 
they the said Anthonie Hall and Thomas Stockar 
have generallie so well used us in all respects, that 
we can not but acknowledge our selves much behold- 
ing (as much as in them lay) to so courteous and 
loving officers. Nevertheless comming along the 
sea, and meeting with hir maiesties admerall in the 
downes, who promising that we should not be dis- 
turbed in our course into the province of Normandie, 
according to your honors' said commission, we had 
not from him departed two leagues, when as a Flush- 
inger with his people suddenlie entred upon us, being 
peaceblie stowed under the hatches, and in our quiet 
rest, with their swords drawne, their calleivers ^ and 
their matches fired in their hands to our great terror 
and discomfort, the most of us being verie sore sea 
sicke, expecting at that instant nothing but either 
the vigorous dint of sword or bullet of calleiver. 
Howbeit parlie being had by our said commissioners 
with them, they departed, after which time we con- 
sidering the generall danger on the seas, besought 
with one consent your honors' commissioners to set 
us on land at Calice : but they in no wise yeelding 

M.e. Culverins or Matchlocks. 


thereunto, at last by reason of our importunitie in 
such danger and weaknesse, yielded to set us on 
shore at Bulloigne, partlie by reason of the feare we 
were then put in, and partlie for that we feared after- 
ward more unreasonable measure : but speciallie the 
greatest number of us so sore sicke, that verie tedious 
unto us it seemed to beare so long and dangerous a 
passage. In witnes whereof to this our certificat we 
have all subscribed our names the nineteenth of Sep- 
tember, 1585. W. [Giblet] : R. Fen: Io. Nele : 
Christopher Small, &c." ^ 

John Adams arrived at Rheims 14 November, 1585, 
but returned at once to England, and was sent to 
the Clink ig December, 1585, by *' the W[orshipful] 
Mr. [Ralph] Rookbye ". He was " examyned at the 
Guildhalle in London before Mr. Yonge and others **. 
According to the statement of Henry Holland, printed 
in the Appendix to Challoner's Missionary Priests, he 
was arrested at Winchester, stepping into the street 
from his house, and was accused, though falsely, of 
having preached in a barn in London. 

" Other particulars," the present writer can say with 
Bishop Challoner, *' I have not found, only Molanus 
signifies, that his constancy was proof against the arti- 
fices and promises, by which many sought to divert 
him from his generous resolution of laying down his 
life for his faith. Multorum elusis artibus qui con- 
st antiam de more catholicorum variis promissis mollire 

^ Holinshed's Chronicle^ iv. 621. But no more names are 
there quoted. For a dissertation on the thirty-two priests then 
exiled, see Downside Review^ 191O) PP- 167-77. 


"He was condemned barely for being a priest, and 
was executed at Tyburn, October 8, 1586." 

J. B. W. 

Authorities.— Cafa/o^ue of Martyrs, C.R.S. v. 288-93. 
Benjamin Norton to Bishop of Chalcedon, ibid. 398. Examin- 
ations of John Chapman, ibid. yz. Douay Diaries, passim. 
Henry Holland's Relation, Challoner Appendix. Kirby, Win- 
chester Scholars, p. 125. 




Tyburn, 8 October, i 5 86. 

So little was known of this martyr's early life, that 
even his Christian name was in doubt, some lists 
calling him Robert, others Richard. The latter was 
used by Bishop Challoner and has been adopted in 
the decree of 4 December, 1886, introducing the cause 
of the martyrs. However, it is now clear, on the 
martyr's own evidence, that his name was Robert, 
and that Richard Dibdale was his brother. He 
was born in the diocese of Worcester, and while 
still young he went to Rheims to study for the priest- 

A letter addressed to his parents, and dated 4 June, 
[1580] gives us all the information that we have as 
to his family. From it we gather that they were both 
still alive and both Catholics, for he sends a gilt 
crucifix and medal to his father and a rosary to his 
mother. He recommends to them Blessed Thomas 
Cottam, who was the bearer of the letter, of whom he 
adds : " I cannot sufficiently commend unto you his 
loving kindness showed and bestowed upon me ". 



He also mentions his sisters Joan and Agnes and his 
brother Richard, also his "brother John Pace," who 
was presumably the husband of one of his sisters.^ 

Incidentally from the Douay Diaries we learn that 
before going to Rheims he visited Rome, for the 
Diary recording his arrival on 29 December, 1579, 
says : " There arrived from Rome two young men 
whose names are Debdail and Kestell, and both are 
studying theology". In the following year he re- 
turned to England for some cause unknown to us, 
leaving Rheims in company with Edward Pole, a 
newly ordained priest, on 22 June, 1580. The com- 
piler of the Roman list of missionary priests^ includes 
him, under this date, though he was not ordained 
priest till four years later, but omits him from his 
real place in the list, which would be on 2 August, 
1584. While in England he fell into the hands of 
the persecutors, and was imprisoned. News of his 
capture reached the College in December, but no 
particulars are given. From the official lists of 
prisoners in the Record Office, however, we learn that 
Edward Pole was taken at Dover coming over from 
beyond the seas, and doubtless the martyr was with 
him as we find them together as prisoners in the 
Gatehouse. While in prison his father helped him, 
and among the State papers (Dom. Eliz. clx. 65) 
there is a note : "Sent to Robert Dubdeale from his 
father the third daye of November a letter and two 
cheeses, a loaf of bread and five shillings in money, 
brought by William Grenway the carrier ". At length 

^ The letter has been printed in full, C.R.S. v. 18-19. 
^ Douay Diaries, 259 sgg^. 


he was discharged by the Lord Treasurer on lo Sep- 
tember, 1582, having been a prisoner for over two 

We do not know how soon he was enabled to go 
back to Rheims, as the Diary is silent as to his re- 
turn, and the next entry relating to him is one dated 
two years later. This records his ordination to the 
priesthood at Rheims on 31 March, 1584. On 2 Au- 
gust in the same year he returned to England with 
Richard Sherwood, another newly ordained priest. 

A year after he had returned, Dibdale is found 
acting as chaplain to Mr. Edmund Peckham, who 
then held the manor of Denham in Buckinghamshire, 
belonging to his father. Sir George Peckham. This 
chaplaincy involved him in a remarkable series of 
alleged exorcisms ; proceedings so unusual that a few 
words of introduction seem necessary. 

The episode forms part of a very wide movement, 
which greatly troubled all countries affected by 
Protestantism. The witch persecution of the six- 
teenth century was in fact largely a by-product of 
the Reformation ; of little influence in purely Catholic 
countries like Italy, Ireland and Spain, but seriously 
disturbing not only Protestants, but also Catholics 
in Germany, France, England and Scotland. This 
should make us on the one hand cautious against 
making comparisons to the disparagement of either 
religious party, but on the other also attentive to the 
light thrown on our epidemic of exorcisms by the 
attitude of the whole of Europe towards witchcraft. 
Robert Dibdale would not have exorcised as freely as 
he did, if public opinion had not been ready to go 


much further still. Even in peaceable England more 
than a score of poor women were hanged for witch- 
craft in the years that immediately preceded or 
followed Dibdale's exorcisms. 

Another point to be noticed from the first is that 
though we must perforce speak of diabolic posses- 
sion, energumens, etc., we do not (in the present 
writer's opinion) have any cases of true possession, 
nor even of mesmerism, or thought-reading, or 
spiritualism properly so called in the alleged exor- 
cisms of 1585, 1586. 

None of the phenomena we meet with here, pos- 
tulate for their explanation supernatural or preter- 
natural agencies, or thought-reading, or any subtle 
spiritualistic power. The most that is required is 
the ordinary working of " suggestion " by strong 
minds upon those who are hysterical, yielding, sus- 
ceptible and infirm of principle. 

The exorcisms appear to have begun in the spring 
of 1585 with the alleged cure of one William Mar- 
wood by Father Edmund Weston, S.J., and the next 
case was that of William Trayford, servant to 
Edmund Peckham, Dibdale's patron, so we may be 
sure that he had something to do with it. Later in 
the year the family moved from Filmer to Denham, 
and from this period we know a good deal about 
Robert Dibdale's doings, but unfortunately through 
very hostile witnesses, Samuel Harsnet and others, 
as will be explained later. We must first piece to- 
gether the story as well as we can. 

There was at Denham a kitchen-maid, by name 
Sarah Williams, about sixteen or seventeen years of 


age, shy and nervous, simple and superstitious, who 
had hardly outgrown the fairy tales she learnt when 
a child. She was on the whole a good girl, but she 
had her weaknesses. She was not steadfast about 
principles, nor particularly careful about the truth. 
She afterwards confessed that '* she very often told 
those things that were untrue, when she perceived 
how she could please". Moreover she "always 
framed herself to use such words as would content 
the priests " ; and she would not correct inaccurate 
stories told about her "for fear of offence". She 
was therefore not a heroine ; but we may well believe 
that her failings were due to childish weakness, 
rather than to serious malice. 

When she came to Denham she was a Protestant, 
but like most country folk of those days, with very 
little firmness of belief. In a fortnight Dibdale had 
reconciled her. He was evidently a kind-hearted 
and high-principled man, but simple to a degree that 
was positively dangerous, and quite obsessed with 
the idea of obsession, and the same idea was prob- 
ably also fixed in the minds of Sarah's master and 
mistress. The latter, by birth Dorothy Gerard, 
sister of Father John Gerard, S.J., had been teaching 
Sarah how to make the sign of the cross, which the 
girl's rustic wit had made her slow to learn. This 
especially, when taken together with a tendency to 
faint (a weakness which passed away as time wore on), 
seemed to the chaplain to show that she certainly 
ought to be exorcised. The fainting, it should be said, 
was probably mistaken for hysteria or catalepsy, then 
called " mother," which was believed to be diabolic. 


Exorcism was no laughing matter. The ener- 
gumen, amid long prayers, was bound hand and foot 
with towels to a chair, and given a nauseous mixture 
of oil, rue and sack to drink, which produced nausea, 
retching, moans, and faintness ; and, horrible as it may 
seem to us, these symptoms were regarded as having 
a mystic meaning. The devil, it was supposed, was 
loosening his hold on the body, and being driven 
from one part to another, by the power of' the 
exorcist. If the energumen kept quiet and made no 
sign, flicking, beating, pricking might be employed. 
Burning brimstone might be held under the nostrils, 
which naturally produced contortions, screams and 
fainting-fits, after which the patient might be con- 
fined to bed for several days. 

As to the ultra-Spartan severity of these ordeals, 
we must not suppose that they were employed at the 
whim or fancy of the exorcist, but according to some 
precedent or code. The probability is that the pre- 
cedents were largely French. There were some 
notable exorcisms held in the Cathedral of Soissons 
in 1582, at the very period when the English students 
from Rheims used to go there for ordination. More- 
over both Sarah and her sister declare that it was 
ordinary for the priests to talk about those who were 
possessed beyond the seas. It does not, on the other 
hand, appear that these proceedings can be called 
liturgical, for the Rituale Romanum, and Alberto di 
Capello's Liber Sacerdotalis prescribe no other se- 
verities but protracted prayer. 

Another point to bear in mind is that these exor- 
cists worked from a charitable motive, and with 


great risk to themselves. Believing that the ailments 
of the patient were due to diabolic malice, they were 
also of opinion that priests alone (in ordinary course) 
could give them relief,^ and this they endeavoured to 
bestow, in spite of the grave danger to themselves. 
They were always living in fear of arrest, imprison- 
ment and death, and the cries of the energumen were 
liable to excite the whole neighbourhood, and to 
create a priori a feeling of anger, and a desire to 
punish the person who had occasioned the cries. 

Another excuse for the exorcists was the consider- 
able number of good priests, who for a time supported 
them. There was Father Weston, superior of the 
Jesuits in England, and Father Cornelius, afterwards 
a martyr. In all there were some twelve or fourteen 
who gave the movement support for a time. They 
were chiefly young men recently come from abroad, 
while the older priests seem to have kept aloof, and 
after a time to have set themselves against it. The 
reaction against the movement, of which more later, 
seems in fact to have begun with them. We now 
return to Mr. Dibdale. 

When Sarah had been temporarily incapacitated 
for housework by the excitement of the first exor- 
cisms, it was only natural that her sister, Frideswide, 
Friswood, or Fid, who had been born on the estate, 
and lived with her parents close by, should be called 
in to do her work. Good Father Dibdale went down 
to see her in the laundry, but while they were talking, 
she slipped on the wet floor, fell and hurt her hip. 
For an enthusiast like Father Dibdale there could 

^J. Morris, Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers ^\\, \oo. 


be but one explanation of this mishap. She too 
must be possessed. So she was rapidly instructed, 
received, and then (November, 1585) exorcised like 
her sister, with much the same results. But she 
was even more untruthful than Sarah, and her 
romances were much less excusable. 

Ere long they were joined by two more companions 
in misfortune. Annie Smith, a young woman possibly 
of good birth, it would seem, was in some way con- 
nected with Mrs. Peckham. Her sister, Mrs. Plater, 
finding that she was suffering from fainting fits and 
other supposed symptoms of " mother " (hysteria), 
arranged for her to go to Denham, " in attendance," 
as the phrase ran, on Mrs. Peckham. It is im- 
portant to note that she was sent by her relatives in 
hopes of being cured by the treatment. She arrived 
at Christmas, 1585, and it was two months before 
she had an attack of "mother". She was then 
exorcised by Cornelius, Dibdale being absent for the 
time. Annie Smith was not a very responsive sub- 
ject, and she was less often experimented with than 
the other two. 

Richard Mainy, the fourth sufferer, was a descen- 
dant of Sir Walter de Manny, the General of Edward 
III, and the founder of the London Charterhouse. 
His mother too, Anne, daughter of Sir Reginald Scot, 
now " Widdow Mainy," was a staunch Catholic, often 
in trouble for her faith. But her son shows badly 
in all our records of him. He had been at the 
Rheims Seminary and had left it, as also the order of 
Minims, which he had joined for a while. Then he 
had returned and taken the oath of supremacy, which 



must have given great pain to his mother and elder 
brother John, who had married Mr. Peckham's sister. 
Richard now began to have the symptoms of "mother," 
and, as in the case of Annie Smith, his relatives, 
clearly excellent people, thought the best thing 
would be for him too to go to Denham and get 

He turned out, however, to be a very undesirable 
inmate. He soon got tired of being worried by the 
exorcists ; and pretended to have visions, knowledge 
of the future, etc. But while posing before the priests 
as a saint, he pressed Fid to elope with him, and as- 
sured Sarah he could absolve as well as any priest. 
The management of his case, however, rested rather 
with Father Weston than with Dibdale. Sarah even- 
tually summoned up courage to speak about him 
to the latter, and he answered, " he was sorry he had 
ever had anything to do with him ". 

After Sarah began " always to frame herself to use 
such words as would content the priests," the seances 
at Denham became remarkable for alleged spiritual 
manifestations. Sometimes she saw light coming 
from the pyx, sometimes she could not see the 
Blessed Sacrament at all. She could tell relics by 
the touch; she named the various imps that were 
supposed to have passed into her, and several of these 
names became known abroad through Harsnet, from 
whom they were borrowed by Shakespeare, and thus 
some of them are still familiar, as Flibberdigibbet, 
Wilkin, Smolkin, Halberdidaunce, Purre, Hob, and 

At Christmas time Robert Dibdale took Sarah to 


the house of Lord Vaux, who was then living at 
Hackney, and she was there exorcised several times, 
and an account of what happened was committed to 
writing. Then they returned to Denham, and the 
exorcisms continued all through the spring. Numbers 
came, and many Protestants were so impressed that 
they asked for instruction, and were received into the 
Church. The mediums were not feared or hated like 
witches, but regarded almost as saints. Father Dib- 
dale had collected £^0 (a large sum for those days) 
to provide Sarah with a dowry in a convent ; and if 
he had been left a few weeks more of liberty, he 
would have taken her over to try her vocation. 

After Easter, however, a reaction seemed to be be- 
ginning. The older priests began, as we have seen, 
to speak against the new-fangled practices, the almost 
open dishonesty of Mainy caused " murmurings," the 
very popularity of the stances began to make the 
exorcists fear the Government, and finally at Whit- 
suntide the energumens themselves refused to be 
exorcised any more. They were sent away from 
Denham, and Dibdale went with them to find new 
places in Catholic families in London. 

Their departure was none too soon. Since Christ- 
mas the Government had to some extent held its hand, 
because it was maturing the Babington Plot. Now 
the time had come to strike. The Catholic houses all 
round London were harried without mercy. Never 
had so many priests been seized as then. Denham 
Hall had been raided in June, and Father Dryland, 
the temporary chaplain, been seized together with 
Alexander Rawlins, and Mr. Swithin Wells, both of 



whom were subsequently martyred. If Mr. Edmund 
Peckham was not imprisoned, it would have been 
because he was on his death-bed. On 8 July, the 
family vault at Denham was opened to receive his 
body, and with him was buried the exorcism move- 
ment. Even if exorcists and energumens should turn 
up again (though in fact they did not), it was hardly 
likely that another gentleman would be found willing 
to turn his house into a sort of hospital for them, as 
Edmund Peckham had done. In point of fact, how- 
ever, the energumens and exorcists as well fell into 
the persecutors' hands. Except Cornelius, all the 
priests who had been prominent in the movement, 
Weston, Dibdale, Thompson, Stamp, Tyrrell, Thulis, 
etc., were now captured, as also the three maids. 

Some kept their nerve, some lost heart. The 
worst failure was Anthony Tyrrell. He had formerly 
been one of the most enthusiastic for the movement, 
and had kept a record of the alleged wonders. Now 
he was overcome by uncontrollable alarm lest he 
should be thought an accomplice of Ballard's, with 
whom he had been acquainted. He began to accuse 
his old friends with hysterical vehemence, and in 
particular he turned against Dibdale, insomuch 
that in his next spell of repentance (he made four 
complete double changes backwards and forwards) 
Tyrrell says that he ''verily thought [Dibdale's] 
innocent blood to have been shed through my most 
wicked and malicious means". 

It seems that Justice Young consulted him about 
Dibdale and his exorcisms, and that he had accused 
him of being ''the first author" of them; decrying 


them as witchcraft and sorcery. It also happened 
that Fid and Annie Smith were arrested at the same 
moment, and being examined, differences were noted 
in their respective accounts of the exorcisms ; no 
wonder with such hysterical subjects ! 

Dibdale was eventually brought to trial at the 
sessions of Newgate, with John Adams and John 
Lowe, " being condemned for treason," says Stow, 
"in being made priest by the authority of the Bishop 
of Rome ".^ But during the trial the chief discussion 
turned on the exorcisms. Annie Smith was brought 
into court to depose that the blade of a knife had 
not been taken from her cheek, as had been affirmed. 
This she seems to have done,^ though she had not 
yet herself given up the faith, as she afterwards did. 
Tyrrell describes himself as being all the while terri- 
fied, lest God Himself, '* when the wenches were 
brought in, should have openly shown some wonderful 
accident for my further condemnation. How much, 
I say, did I fear lest Thou wouldst have permitted the 
devils to have shown themselves in the face of the 

^Stow, Chronicle, ed. 163 1, p. 731. This shows that Tyrrell's 
words, that Dibdale was condemned " for conjuration ^^ {Troubles, 
ii. 416), must not be taken literally, but broadly. The death for 
conjuration moreover would have been hanging without quartering. 

'^ It is clear that there was hysterical deception somewhere in 
this case ; but it seems impossible to tell now who was excus- 
able, who not. Tyrrell strongly affirms, " I was present myself 
and did see " the somewhat similar case of a needle coming 
from the cheek of Fid {Troubles, ii. 329). This may have been 
run in, to test whether she could feel. The knife may have been 
used to open the mouth, and keep down the tongue, while relics 
were being introduced. 


world ... for the confusion of the enemy." ^ But 
Providence followed its ordinary silent course. Vio- 
lence triumphed : the martyrs were condemned, and 
on 8 October Dibdale was hanged, drawn and quartered 
for high treason with his companions. The harassing 
about the exorcisms went on till the end, but in an 
insensate way, that teaches us very little. " He was 
charged by Topcliffe of conjuration and that he did 
those things by delusion of the devil." Hereupon 
Mr. Dibdale " protested that he did it by virtue of 
the name of Jesus," and steadfast in his confession 
of "the merits and the power of Christ," he passed 
through the terrible ordeal with firm and unshaken 

" Happy, and thrice happy are you, Blessed Dib- 
dale, Lowe and Adams!" wrote Tyrrell later on. 
" What treasons hav^ you committed, but only for 
serving God according to your function, for saying 
of Masses, for reconciling of sinners to Almighty 
God, and by doing other like actions most laudable 
and necessary to salvation. Pray for* me since now 
you triumph in heaven ; I pray you, pray for me 
and pardon me the grievous offences I have done to 
you." 3 

The exorcism movement came to an end as we 
have seen with the persecution that followed the 
Babington Plot. About 1598, however, a record of 
the exorcisms at Denham, from October, 1585 to Jan- 
uary, 1586, was seized by Topcliffe in the house of 
one Mr. Barnes, a Catholic gentleman, of whom more 

^Morris, Troubles^ ii. 415. 

"^ Acts of English ^Martyrs ^ p. 285, ^ Troubles^ ii. 417. 


will be heard in later lives. Dr. Bancroft, Protestant 
Bishop of London, perceived that this book might be 
made use of to harass the Catholics still further. So a 
commission was appointed to call up and examine 
those who had been exorcised, and Samuel Harsnet, 
his chaplain, afterwards Archbishop of York, was 
to prepare a book on the subject. In this he was 
aided by Fid Williams, who had now become a 
woman of ill fame.^ She gave a very malicious 
account of her dealings with the priests at Denham, 
and she even *'ferretted out" her sister Sarah, who 
had not previously given up her faith, though she now, 
under examination, said a good deal against those 
she had formerly honoured. Anthony Tyrrell gave 
yet another version of the story he had told so fre- 
quently from opposite points of view, and Richard 
Mainy and Annie Smith also deposed against the 

Thus arose Harsnet's Declaration of Egregious, 
Popish Impostures (London, 1603), a book full of caus- 
tic wit and strong denunciation, but inspired by 
hatred, and punctuated by blood-lust, shown by 
phrases like et tamen vivunt. The most valuable part 
is the confessions of the maids, though as might be 
expected, these too are full of bitter animus, and re- 
present Dibdale's exorcisms in the worst light. 

The life-work of this venerable martyr is so unlike 
that of the majority of his companions, that it seems 
to need some special consideration. It has already 
been shown that his career cannot be understood,^ 

^ Fid will reappear in this3part in the life of the Ven. William 


unless considered in its connexion with the witch- 
movement, which was agitating Northern Europe ; 
and also that when thus regarded Dibdale's methods 
seem humane, moderate and reasonable, by contrast 
with the barbarous cruelties and the insensate blood- 
shed that were going on around him at no great dis- 
tance of time and place. It would not be fair to 
judge him by modern standards, to blame him for not 
being able to diagnose, as we now can, the varying 
symptoms of hysteria ; though if the process were 
licit, it would of course go against the priest at every 
turn. As it is, there seems no reason whatsoever to 
doubt his good faith, and excellent intention of afford- 
ing, at the risk of life, relief, which he as priest alone 
could give, as he imagined. A sufficient number of 
priests sided with him to afford him the excuse of 
" common error " ; and this excuse is strengthened if 
we remember that when another body of priests be- 
gan to pronounce against him, he began to lay aside 
the practice. Still we must not go to the extreme of 
inferring that he was prudent, even according to the 
standards of that day. In employing so many fancy 
forms of excantation, he certainly went beyond the 
prescriptions of the Roman, and I think also of the 
Sarum rite. The free admission of the public to the 
exorcisms can hardly be excused, and the carrying of 
the girls from place to place for exorcism must be 
strongly condemned. Finally, though Dibdale is no- 
where suspected of deceit, it is not yet clear how he 
can be free from all blame for not unmasking the 
hallucinations which went on around him for so long. 
They were in many cases half-conscious hallu- 


cinations which the patient recognized as such, as 
soon as the exorcisms were over. 

In spite of all this, however, and in spite of all 
Harsnet's long and malicious indictment, nothing 
has yet been produced that can seriously injure the 
martyr's reputation. Dibdale never failed in his 
priestly duties, he never lapsed into those extremes 
of anger and scolding on the one side, or of self-in- 
dulgence on the other, to which excitable people 
are prone. He appears to have been always kind, 
laborious, regular and self-sacrificing. Zeal for the 
faith is his constant, his dominant motive, and it 
was for his faith, not for his exorcisms, that he died. 
It was, perhaps, inevitable, considering the circum- 
stances of the time, that there should have been an 
outbreak of witch-mania somewhere in the history 
of the English martyrs ; and we may well thank 
Providence that the episode, when it came, was as 
short and innocuous as it was. 

J. H. P. 

Authorities. — Davies, S^ort Relation concerning Mr. 
Richard Dibdale^ MS. in Westminster Archives^ iv. i., printed in 
Challoner. Relation of the Penkevels, printed in Pollen, Acts of 
English MaHyrs^ p. 285. Dibdale is also mentioned in all the 
Catalogues (Chalcedon quotes the Newgate Register) and by 
Stow (ed. 1631), p. 741. A ballad, now lost, was written On the 
Death of the Three Traitors^ and licensed 10 November, 1 586 ; J. 
Payne Collier, Registers of the Stationers^ Company^ Shakespeare 
Soc, 1849, ii. 221. Morris, Troubles of Our Catholic Fore- 
fathers^ 1872, vol. ii. 

For the exorcisms the chief materials are found in S. Hars- 
Xi^X^Declcircttion of Egregious Popish Impostures^ London, 1603. 


See also TAe Month, May, 191 1, where the subject is discussed 
more fully. T. G. Law, " Devil Hunting in Elizabethan England," 
Nineteenth Century, March, 1894. Scot, R., Discoverie of 
Witchcraft, 1584 (ed. Nicholson, 1886). 

For the history of Denham and of the Peckhams, see R. H. 
L. Lathbury, History of Denham, Bucks, 1904 ; Diet. Nat. 
Biog., sub. Peckham, Sir George ; R. B. Merriman, " Some 
Notes on the Treatment of the English Catholics in the Reign of 
Elizabeth" (in American Hist. Rev., Boston, April, 1908). 



York, Summer or Autumn, 1586. 

Very little is known of this venerable martyr, and 
no details of his life have been preserved, except that 
he was born at Low Hall, in the parish of Farnham, 
near Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and that at the time 
of his arrest he was resident at York where he had 
been an apprentice. In 1604 there were several 
Bickerdikes of Farnham returned as Catholic recu- 
sants. " Anne, the wife of Edward Bickerdike, tailor," 
is described as having been a recusant for six years, 
" Jane, wife of Edward Bickerdike, gentleman," has 
been a recusant for twelve years, and " Elizabeth 
Bickerdike, spinster, remaining with her brother 
Edward Bickerdike of Farneham," for two years. 
Another Elizabeth Bickerdike, also a recusant, was 
an inmate of the house of " Walter Knaresborough 
of Ferimsby, yeoman ".^ But it is not known how 
these persons were connected with Robert Bicker- 

^ See Peacock, Yorkshire Catholics, 1604, p. 50, where the 
martyr's execution is post-dated thirty years. See also Foley, 
Records, iii. 764, for other Yorkshire Catholics of the same name. 



dike. Dom Bede Camm, O.S.B., in Forgotten Shrines 
says : " There are still Catholic Bickerdykes in the 
West Riding who claim relationship with this brave 
chivalrous young martyr ". 

When Bishop Challoner wrote his account of this 
martyr he had before him only one source of informa- 
tion, but other accounts have been preserved, and, 
putting these together, we can now obtain a fuller 
story than has hitherto been possible. To begin 
with, we learn that he had been arrested and tried a 
year before the two trials of which Bishop Challoner 
speaks. This we learn from the Oscott MS., pub- 
lished by Father John Morris, S.J., as^ Yorkshire 
Recusant's Relation, and it is corroborated by the MS. 
written about 1594 by William Hutton, a prisoner in 
Ouscbridge Kidcote.^ By combining these two narra- 
tives we can form some idea of the course of events. 
According to the first, Robert Bickerdike was first ap- 
prehended for being in company with a priest, and 
William Hutton adds the information that this was 
Ven. John Boste. The Yorkshire Recusant's Re- 
lation continues : '' This young man had many 
malicious merchants of York his enemies, for he had 
served as 'prentice there and was known to be Catho- 
licly affected. Amongst which was one Brooke, and 
Andrew Trewe, two as malicious as ignorant Puritans. 
By the means and envious procurement of these and 
their complices, he was at his first taking arraigned 
in the Common Hall in York, and indicted for aid- 
ing the priest, because they were seen to drink to- 
gether, and the heretics surmised that this young 

* Both these sources are printed in Troubles^ iii. 


man had paid for the pot of ale, which they thought 
was matter sufficient to hang him." WilHam Hutton 
says that he was '' committed to the Counter of Ouse- 
bridge where he remained a year ; then called at the 
assizes to the Common Hall before the Judges — 
for there they sit on Monday for the city gaol — to 
answer his indictment, was cleared by a jury, having 
no evident proof and discharged ". In this indictment 
which failed there was a second count, thus described 
by the Yorkshire Recusant: "Also he was then in- 
dicted for saying to an heretical 'prentice, which with 
vehement fury railed against him and the Catholics, 
calling them traitors, that he might now say his 
pleasure, for the sap is, quoth he, with Catholics in 
the root of the tree, but it may perhaps ascend up- 
wards towards Michaelmas, and then he would use 
no such railing words ; meaning only hereby (as him- 
self said) that in this prosperous time with heretics 
they might say and do what they listed, but if God 
should send a Catholic time, heretics' tongues would 
be stabled".^ William Hutton, however, refers this 
count in the indictment to the final trial. At any 
rate we have the martyr's own authority for saying 
that this first acquittal took place just a year before 
his last trial. Therefore it was in the summer of 


Though both accounts speak of his being com- 
mitted again to prison this probably refers to a year 
later, for he was certainly at liberty in June, 1586, 
when he saw Ven. Francis Ingleby going to execu- 

^ Stopped. 


tion and spoke words which led to his own re-arrest. 
The incident is thus described by William Hutton : 
" When Sir Francis Ingleby, priest, was to come 
over Ousebridge on a hurdle to execution, Robert 
Bickerdyke, going over the way to the Tolbooth, the 
minister's wife in the street, in his way, said to her 
sister who was with her : ' Let us go into the Tol- 
booth and we shall see the traitorly thief come over 
on the hurdle'. * No, no thief,' quoth he: 'as true 
as thou art,* and no more words but these, which was 
supposed was the cause of his death, her husband 
and father being in such credit with the ministry." 
According to this account, the father of the minister's 
wife sought his death on this account, and had him 
committed to Ousebridge Jail. Then they "framed 
a new indictment against him upon certain words he 
should speak in a figurative manner to a merchant 
man in the city, which he applied to the Spaniards 
coming in. I have forgotten what the words were, 
but in this manner I remember. It was about 
Michaelmas and he said * Well, now the sap is in 
the root, but in the spring of the year it will begin 
to spring up again,' and upon these words he framed 
his indictment and caused him on Thursday after to 
be sent for to the Castle and there to answer this 
matter before the judges." Clearly we have here a 
confused variant of the former incident, but it is 
quite possible that the same words were used to fur- 
nish ground for a new indictment. Certainly some 
things were alleged against him which had been dis- 
posed of at the 1585 trial ; for the Yorkshire Recusant, 
speaking of the Lammas assizes of 1586, says : "At 


this time, therefore, Clinche and Rhodes, sitting as 
judges on the bench, asked. him of the former points. 
He answered that he had been cleared of them by a 
jury in that place a year before. Then they asked 
him whose part he would take if the Pope should 
invade the realm. He said he could not tell before 
what he would do in time to come. * But ' quoth he 
* I will do as it shall please God to put me in mind ' ; 
for which words they railed and called him traitor 
and thereupon indicted him. The jury perceiving 
this apparent injury and malice in both the wicked 
judges, and also in the merchants, which, for want 
of true crime, or trespass already committed by the 
young man, would so impudently by their deceitful 
and bloody demand entangle him with some offensive 
matter, cleared him of all, and upon their oaths and 
consciences gave their verdict for his innocency say- 
ing ' Not guilty,' at which thing they all stormed and 
said he should not escape them so. And Birkhead, the 
Queen's Attorney, said he would frame a new indict- 
ment against him, whereupon they removed him to 
the Castle, (for until that time he was prisoner on the 

William Hutton says : " The sheriffs of the city 
hearing of this [unless it refers to his first arrest] 
came to his chamber searching what he had, taking 
a gold ring off his finger, his money, and his apparel, 
and then sent him to the Castle ". 

The re-trial is thus described by the Yorkshire Re- 
cusant : ** Being arraigned again in the Castle and 
indicted upon the same articles whereof he was ac- 
quitted before, Rhodes said to the jury, * This traitor 


had too favourable and too scrupulous a jury in the 
town, but I trust,' quoth he, * you will look otherwise 
to him, being the Queen's enemy and a notorious 
traitor '. Upon which daily, earnest pursuit by Rhodes 
and Birkhead the jury forthwith found him guilty 
of high treason. When he was about to speak any- 
thing Rhodes and Birkhead made outcries against 
him, saying, ' Behold how treason bloweth forth of his 
mouth, hear not the traitor, away with the traitor ; * 
and yet all the country well perceived that his words 
had no resemblance of treason, or could justly be any 
offence to Queen or subject.*' Apparently the judge 
felt rather keenly on the subject, for a little later the 
same account says : '' All the country was amazed 
to see this young man so unjustly made away, and 
some gentlemen being in company with Rhodes 
before he departed from Yorkshire, asked him whether 
the young man's answer that * he would do in time 
to come as it should please God to put in his mind,' 
was treason by any statute and law or no. Which 
demand Rhodes took in great dudgeon and said, 
* You do us no less injury than the traitor did at the 
bar when he asked us the same question. We are not 
sent hither to scan and dispute the statutes, but to 
give judgment against offenders.' " 

A third account of his trial and condemnation is 
that which was used by Dr. Challoner. It was found 
at Douay by Alban Butler in a MS. which he tran- 
scribed for the Bishop about 1740, and which he de- 
scribed as " in a good hand but imperfect, and without 
beginning or end ". It was written by the Rev. Ralph 
Fisher, priest. Probably it was one of the accounts 


which were collected in or about 1626 at the direction 
of Bishop Richard Smith.^ 

" Robert Bickerdike, gentleman, was born in 
Yorkshire near to the town of Knaresborough, but 
his dwelling was in the city of York. Who being 
brought before the magistrate there for matter of 
conscience and religion was examined among other 
things, if the Pope or his agent, the King of Spain, 
should invade England, whether he would take the 
Queen's part or the Pope's. To this Mr. Bickerdike 
did make answer, if any such thing came to pass he 
would then do as God should put him in mind. Upon 
this answer he was first arraigned, at the London 
HalP of the city, of treason. But the jurors, being 
men of conscience, found him not guilty. Where- 
upon the judge, being grieved that he was freed by 
the jury, caused him to be removed from the gaol or 
prison of the city to the Castle, and there again in- 
dicted him of the aforesaid treason : and by a new 
jury he was found guilty of treason. And the Judge, 
whose name was Roades [Rhodes] gave sentence 
that he should be hanged, drawn and quartered ; and 
so constantly he suffered according to the same 
sentence, which was for that he would do as God 
should put him in mind." 

There is great divergence as to the date of his 
martyrdom. The anonymous martyrology of 1608 
(identified by Father Pollen as the first recension of 
Dr. Worthington's catalogue), says it took place in 

1 See C.R.S. v. p. 393. 

^ This would seem to be a copyist's error for Common Hall. 
But Alban Butler's MS. certainly reads London Hall, 



August, 1585. Dodd follows this, adding the 5th of 
the month as the precise date, and this has been 
adopted by Mr. Gillow (Bibl. Diet. Ens^. Cath.). But 
it is certainly erroneous, because Ven. Francis Ingleby 
was not executed till 3 June, 1586, and as we have 
seen Ven. Robert Bickerdike was only arrested on 
that date. Probably the 1608 catalogue was led into 
this error by inadvertently grouping our martyr with 
Ven. Hugh Taylor and Ven. Marmaduke Bowes. 

The 1614 edition of Dr. Worthington's catalogue 
gives 8 October, 1586, as the date. But this is late, 
seeing that the martyr was sentenced at the Lammas 
assizes. Moreover the fact that three London mar- 
tyrdoms did take place on that day suggests that 
there may have been some confusion. Bishop 
Challoner in giving this date adds " one manuscript 
says July 23 ". This is a much more probable date, 
and most likely the MS. referred to was that which 
has been published by Father John Morris, S.J.,^ as 
An Ancient Editor's Note Book, in which this date 
is given. But in default of more precise knowledge 
nothing definite can be stated. 

E. H. B. 

Authorities. —A Yorkshire Recusant's Relation, Oscott MS., 
published in Troubles, Series iii. (London, 1877) ; William 
Mutton's relation published in the same volume, under the title 
Notes by a Prisoner in Ousebridge Kidcote. Ralph Fisher's 
relation, printed by Bishop Challoner. Foley, Records, iii. 764. 
Camm, Forgotten Shrines. Challoner. Bridgewater, Concer- 

^ Troubles, Series iii. p. 40. 



York, I December, 1586. 

This martyr was the representative of a Yorkshire 
family of good standing, who had for some genera- 
tions been settled at Rathorpe Hall, Dalton, in the 
West Riding. The martyr was the eldest son of 
Richard Langley of Rathorpe Hall and Joan Beau- 
mont of Mirfield, and he had a younger brother 
Thomas who lived at Meltonby. Bishop Challoner 
states that he was born at Grimthorpe in Yorkshire. 
Both brothers married and had children. Richard 
married Agnes, daughter of Richard Hansby of 
Malton, by whom he had a son, Christopher, and four 
daughters, Isabel, Margaret, Catherine and Agnes. 

No particulars of hi§ early life have been recorded, 
but the few genealogical details preserved in the 
heraldic visitation show that he must have been born 
during the latter years of Henry VIII, for his son 
Christopher was born in 1565. So he had lived 
through all the changes of religion, and he was an 
elderly man when he won the martyr's crown. The 
valuable source which has been printed by Father 

259 17 * 


Morris under the title A . Yorkshire Recusant's Rela- 
tion ^ speaks of him as *' a gentleman well in years, 
who had lived in the country with very great love 
and worshipful credit, a man of approved honesty, 
wisdom and sobriety, and well qualified in all virtues ". 
Another MS. now preserved at Stonyhurst^ says of 
him, " Richard Langley, a man of great soul and 
remarkable piety, spent all his estate in succouring 
priests. He built a very well hidden house under- 
ground, which was a great place of refuge for priests 
during the persecution." 

This would account for the Yorkshire Recusant's 
statement, which otherwise would be somewhat 
puzzling, that he had two houses, one distant a mile 
from the other. The secret was betrayed by a false 
Catholic ; and the Earl of Huntingdon, then Lord 
President of the North, a ruthless persecutor, often 
referred to simply as "the tyrant," sent a band of 
justices and ministers to search the houses on 27 
October, 1586, the Eve of SS. Simon and Jude.^ 
These were accompanied by a large band of soldiers. 
Mr. Langley was taken together with two priests, 
John Mush, the biographer of Margaret Clitherow, 
and Mr. Johnson. All three were carried before the 
Lord President at York, who railed at them " in his 
furious and heretical arrogance awhile " and then 
committed them to York Castle. 

^ Morris, Troubles, iii. 65 sqg. 

"" A.E.M. 305-6. 

^ Another account summarized by Father Grene says it was 
about 21 September. The fact that this date ajso was an 
Apostle's fe^st probably caused the confusion, 


Of his trial we only have two short accounts in the 
two relations already cited. They both agree in sub- 
stance, and we may here quote the longer of the two, 
that of the Yorkshire Recusant : — 

" The heretics much abused this gentleman at the 
bar with railing and uncourteous speeches. At his 
first coming into the hall to be arraigned, he knelt 
down and asked Mr. Crowe, the priest, his blessing. 
He said that he would never repent that he had har- 
boured priests, and that they were the messengers of 
God, but rather was sorry that he had not harboured 
more and oftener than he had done ; also that he 
thanked God that he might die for so good a cause. 
He would not make suit to the tyrant nor the Privy 
Council for his life in this cause, which sentence 
grieved the tyrant and his complices exceedingly, 
insomuch that they altered the jury, which was first 
impanelled of his honest neighbours, fearing these 
would deal favourably and justly, and instead of 
them appointed such as they knew would work their 
desire to murder him, as they did." 

He was condemned to death with the two priests, 
but that very night, they being confined in another 
part of the prison, were enabled to make their escape 
with a third priest, Bernard Patenson. 

Probably their escape accelerated Ven. Richard 
Langley's martyrdom, for though the Lord President 
had promised his brother Thomas Langley that he 
should be reprieved till the Lent Assizes he now sent 
orders that he was to be executed without dela}^ 

In Father Grene's account we read : ** Mr. Langley 
was of such pleasant manners that he won the friend- 


ship of the gaoler, who in spite of his being a malicious 
heretic could scarcely refrain from tears when he was 
led out to execution. He was, moreover, of good 
family and fortune, yet he despised all these things and 
declared before the judges that if he had greater riches 
and a hundred lives, he would willingly spend them 
all in that cause. . . . During the whole time of his 
imprisonment he was so merry that many wondered 
at him, for he had always been shy at home, yet 
when brought out for execution he showed such 
alacrity of mind as to go to the scaffold even before 
the sheriff, as if he were a bridegroom going to his 

His martyrdom took place on i December, 1586, 
and as he had been convicted of harbouring priests, 
and not of high treason, he suffered by hanging, and 
so escaped the terrible pains of quartering. 

His friends begged to be allowed to give his re- 
mains honourable burial, but this was not allowed, 
and "permission was even refused for his corpse to 
be wrapped in the linen shroud he had prepared, and 
after his body had been thrown into the pit, the bodies 
of ten thieves were cast in over him ". 

A document in the Record Office, printed by Father 
Pollen, S.J. {C.R.S. v. 134), shows that his estates 
were confiscated by the Government. His daughter 
Isabel and his son-in-law William Foster, her hus- 
band, fled from their house after his arrest. When 
after a time they ventured to return, Isabel Foster's 
charity led her to visit the Catholic prisoners in 
York. She was arrested as she was coming out of 
the prison and was carried before Hutton, the Dean 


of York, who, on her refusal to attend the Protestant 
services, committed her to York Castle. She was 
at the time with child, and soon fell ill with ague 
through the close confinement and foulness of the, 
prison. The rest is told by the writer who is known- 
to us as '* The Prisoner in Ousebridge Kidcote ". 
After recounting how patiently and joyfully she suf- 
fered, desiring God to forgive those who sought her 
trouble, he tells how she was consoled by the appear- 
ance of her martyred father : " Before her death, she 
was heard to call upon her father, desiring him either 
to stay with her, or to let her go with him : at which 
one of the standers-by said, ' I am here, what would 
you have me to do ? ' She said, * I speak not to you ; it 
is my own father ; do you not see him there by you ? ' 
The next day she died, to the great comfort of the 
beholders, December 3rd, 1587, and was buried among 
the rest under the Castle wall." 

The martyr's only son Christopher settled at Mil- 
lington and married Ursula, daughter of John Rud- 
ston of Hayton, by whom he had a son whom he 
called Richard after his father, and who was still 
living in 1612. 

E. H. B. 

Authorities.— ^>/^^//^;?i- from Stony hurst MSS., A.EM. 
305. Collectanea^ ibid. lid. Morris, Troubles^ iii. 94. Lands 
and Leases of Richard Langley^ C.R.S. v. 134. Challoner, 
Visitations of Yorkshire^ see next page. 































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Dorchester^ 21 March, 1587. 

Thomas Pilchard, or Pilcher, came of yeoman stock 
of the County of Sussex. He was born at Battle in 
1557, and appears to have been some relative of one 
Thomas Parker, a saddler of that town. At the age 
of eighteen he entered the University of Oxford, and 
matriculated from Balliol College, 1575. He was a 
student of some brilliance, and was in turn scholar 
(1575) and fellow (1576) of his college. He suppli- 
cated for his bachelor's degree on 12 May, 1576, and 
was admitted on 28 May ; three years later he pro- 
ceeded to the Mastership of Arts. Balliol College, 
which had given Father Persons and Ven. Alexander 
Briant to the Church in 1573, was still the abode of 
men who kept their respect for the old religion, and 
it was there that Mr. Pilchard was led to the truth, 
and to realize the danger to his soul of his position. 
He became reconciled to the Church, abandoned 
every worldly prospect of fame and advancement, and 
set out for Rheims. He reached the College on 20 
November, 1581, bringing with him from Oxford one 



George Nicols. His singular modesty and candour, 
his habitual recollection and unaffected piety were a 
source of great edification to all at the College, and 
his zeal for souls showed itself in his efforts to induce 
other Oxford men to follow in his wake, ** looking 
daily for Bagshaw, as he did report to one Caesar". 
He was ordained subdeacon at Soissons on lo June, 
1582, received the diaconate at Laon on 22 Sep- 
tember of the same year, and was made priest also 
at Laon on 5 March, 1583. He offered his first Mass 
on 14 March, and set out for the English Mission on 
4 May following. The scene of his labours was the 
West of England, and of their character his contem- 
porary Father William Warford, S.J., bears this testi- 
mony : " He laboured so commendably that I know 
no priest in all the West of England that equalled his 
virtues ; and truly his memory is still in benediction 
there. By his unwearied zeal he gained many souls to 
God ; he was constantly employed in preaching the 
Divine word and administering the Sacraments, yet his 
zeal was tempered with the most engaging sweetness 
and affability, and he was justly regarded as the oracle 
of that province." While in another account we are 
told that he was remarkable in the seminary for his 
candour, and sparing talk, but above all for his piety 
and devotion in saying Mass. These virtues stood 
him in good stead in his work as a missionary. 
*' Whether at home, on a journey or in prison he was 
always at work and never excused himself from 
preaching and administering the sacraments." 

And so on every side he obtained recognition as a 
true apostle. The '' home " from which he set forth 


on his missionary journeys was at Winchester, where 
as the spy Thomas Dodwell relates in February, 
1583-4, "The Lady West entertaineth Pilcher a//as 
Foster ". Another spy tells Walsingham that he was 
often in London. During the course of 1585 the 
Government found it convenient to ease the conges- 
tion in the prisons by sending some who were 
prisoners for religion into exile. More than seventy 
priests were thus shipped beyond the seas, of whom 
twenty-four at one time or other during the year 
reached the college at Rheims, there to abide a 
favourable opportunity of returning to their labours. 
It was not merely the zeal for the mission that made 
these confessors eager to be back, but also lest their 
absence should be attributed to some compromise 
made with the Government. Mr. Pilchard was one 
of whose who underwent this exile, and who found 
a refuge at Rheims. No record is yet known as to 
how and when he fell into the enemy's hands, nor of 
the date of his banishment or arrival at Rheims. 
But on 20 January, 1586, he left the College for Eng- 
land to take up again his active work for souls, and 
with the certainty of martyrdom, if he should again 
fall into the hands of the ruling party. He returned 
to the field of his former labours, and for almost a 
year continued his apostolic work with undiminished 
fruit. Then while on a visit to London in the com- 
pany of his constant friend John Jessop, upon some 
missionary business, he was recognized in Fleet 
Street by one who had known him very well at Oxford 
(probably the spy Dodwell), and. apprehended. 

We have an account of Mr. Pilchard's personality 


from the pen of one who knew him well, Father 
William Warford, S.J. He describes him as being 
of modest and sedate countenance, with a small beard 
about his mouth and chin, and a decided squint, 
though his eyes were nevertheless not without charm. 
He was somewhat above middle height ; a man of 
most gentle disposition, and of equable temperament ; 
more than moderately learned ; and a remarkable 
example of priestly life. It was by reason of the de- 
fect in his eyesight that the spy knew him, and so 
gave him into the hands of the officers. His com- 
panion Mr. Jessop might have escaped, but was be- 
trayed by his grief at the fate of Mr. Pilchard. John 
Jessop was everywhere Mr. Pilchard's most faithful 
companion, and his right-hand man in the helping of 
souls. He was a man of good business capacity and 
experience, when, to the great wonder of his friends, 
he placed himself entirely in Mr. Pilchard's hands to 
aid his missionary labours. They were now conveyed 
back to Dorset, riding on horseback with their hands 
tied behind them, and were imprisoned at Dorchester. 
The fortnight that elapsed between Mr. Pilchard's 
arrival in that prison and his trial and martyrdom 
was a period of unceasing labour, which was richly 
crowned by God, for during those days he reconciled 
no less than thirty persons to the Church. His exer- 
cises of self-discipline were not lessened by reason of 
his captivity ; he did not abandon his practice of 
sleeping on the ground because of his fetters, but re- 
signed his bed to one or other of his fellow-captives. 
Such acts of kindness won their esteem, at the same 
time as the example of his earnestness and self-sur- 


render was moving their wills, so that the very thieves 
were attracted and converted by his meekness. His 
jailer also was won to show him such kindness as 
lay in his power, but this becoming known to the 
authorities it was thought prudent to commit him to 
another keeper. But the discretion and presence of 
mind of the martyr and his firmness of purpose sur- 
mounted their strategy, and means of access to him 
was found for his friends. Then flocked to his prison 
from all that country, Catholics and those who were 
solicitous about their souls. All were helped, all 
consoled, no one left him without receiving a lesson 
in some virtue or other. Thus he was enabled when 
in prison to bring more to God than when he had 
been free, and the good odour of his life and fragrance 
of his conversation spreading abroad, he was freely 
sought by his friends and other Catholics. He was 
brought to trial at the Lent Assize and condemned 
for treason, on the score of his priesthood and his 
exercise of it within the Queen's dominions. After 
receiving sentence he was immediately hurried off to 
execution. He was so cruelly drawn upon the hurdle 
that he was almost dead when he came to the place 
assigned. The penalty of treason was rarely paid in 
that part of the country, and there was some difficulty 
in finding any one to carry out the sentence, but ulti- 
mately a butcher was induced to undertake it for a con- 
siderable sum of money. 

The martyr was scarcely hung up when the rope 
either broke or was severed, and the holy man stood 
erect on his feet under the gallows. The hired 
executioner shrank from his task, until, compelled 


thereto by the sheriff's men, he rushed at the martyr 
and driving his knife bhndly into the belly of the 
priest, again shrank back horror-stricken, amidst the 
groans and outcry of the spectators. Mr. Pilchard, 
who was fully conscious, turned his head towards the 
Sheriff and meekly asked : " Is this then your justice, 
Mr. Sheriff? " On his saying this, the executioner, 
summoning courage, seized him, threw him on 
his back, and then proceeded to the work of disem- 
bowelling. When he was tearing open his belly the 
pain caused the martyr to bring his hand to the 
wound, and the unskilled executioner cut it all over 
in his frenzy. Then Mr. Pilchard raised himself a 
little and with his own hands cast forth his bowels, 
crying at the same time " Miserere mei ". Thus he 
passed to his crown. It was noted by the Catholics 
of that county that all those who were accessory to 
this judicial murder fell into some remarkable calam- 
ity or came to an untimely end. The Sheriff, who 
was then rich and powerful, fell into great misfortunes 
and died miserably within two years. The chief 
keeper of his prison going into his garden somewhat 
late saw one coming towards him like Mr. Pilchard, 
and being astonished asked him what he did there. 
" I go in to Mr. Jessop," was the answer, *' and pre- 
sently I will return to you." The keeper went in 
and sickened unto death. He refused the ministra- 
tion of the schismatics and said openly that the 
devils were striving for him and that they would 
presently carry him away ; but that he saw Mr. 
Pilchard with a cross standing betwixt them and 
him. His butcher and the greater part of the jury 


died violent deaths very soon afterwards. The 
martyr's quarters were fixed, according to custom, 
upon the town walls, but there was a visitation of 
such terrible storms and such horrible lightnings 
over Dorchester and the surrounding country until 
they were removed, that when Father John Cornelius 
was condemned for the same cause, the leading men 
of the town came to the judges and begged that his 
quarters might not be fixed on the walls, " because it 
was known for certain that tempests had of late 
years occurred on account of the exposure of Mr. Pil- 
chard's body, causing great loss to many, and especi- 
ally destructive to the harvest ". 

The remains of the martyr were buried in the open 
fields near the place of his execution. His friend, Mr. 
Jessop, did not long survive him, but overwhelmed 
by grief at his loss, he fell a victim to the foulness of 
his prison and died shortly afterwards in Dorchester 
Jail. His dying wish was that he might not be 
buried in the graveyard, but " proxime ad corpus D. 
Pilchardi in agris in loco supplicii," and this was ac- 
cordingly done, but, by night, so as not to attract 
notice. Others to whom Mr. Pilchard had ministered 
during life, were consoled by him after his death. 
An old priest, a fellow-prisoner, was suddenly awak- 
ened from sleep, and saw his chamber full of light 
and a thing like a fish (pilchard), bigger than a man, 
from which the light proceeded. Another prisoner, 
a woman great with child and near her time, was 
suddenly awakened one night. She told her husband 
that she had seen Mr. Pilchard, who told her she 
must come to him, and that night she died in child- 


birth . Some four years afterwards Venerable William 
Pike, by trade a carpenter, was put on his trial for 
having spoken in favour of the Catholic religion. 
He confessed his faith freely, and when offered his 
life and family if he would recant, replied that it did 
not become a son of Mr. Pilchard to abjure his re- 
ligion. '' Did that traitor, then, pervert you ? " asked 
the judge. " That holy priest of God and true martyr 
of Christ taught me the truth of the Catholic Faith," 
he replied. Until he died, Mr, Pilchard's name was 
constantly on his lips, and he recalled with heartfelt 
words the martyr's memory. To the question what 
gave him such strength in his resolution, his answer 
was, " Nothing but the smell of a pilchard ". And so 
he followed his spiritual father to heaven by the path 
of the martyrs. With Mr. Pilchard were put to death 
some of his fellow-prisoners whom he had converted 
to the faith. One of these, a young man of great bodily 
strength, was a notorious robber. He had been re- 
conciled to the Church the night before, and had 
made an excellent confession of his sins, and on the 
scaffold he fearlessly professed himself a Catholic. 
Thomas Pilchard glorified God by martyrdom on 21 
March, 1587. 

J. L. W. 

Authorities. — Warford's/?^/«//^;?(StonyhurstMSS. ColL M)y 
translation printed in (i) Pollen, A.E.M. 261-8 ; (2) Foley, 
Records SJ.^ iii. 428-9 ; (3) Oliver's Collections. Intelligence of 
Seminary Priests with their Receivers^ by Thomas Dodwell, 
P.R.O. Dom. Eliz. vol. 168, nos. -i^-i,^ 34, 35, printed in Foley, 
Records SJ.^ vol. vi. pp. 719-27. Spy Wylkox to Walsingham, 
Seminary Priests, Their Receivers and Lodgings in London^ 23 


April, 1586, P.R.O. Dom. Eliz. 188, 37, printed in Morris, 
Troubles^ ii. p. 157. Relation by an English Priest^ A.E.M. 
320. Presumptions of the Unsoundness of Balliol College in 
Religion^ 1581, P.R.O. Dom. Eliz. 146, 10, printed in Douay 
Diaries^ p. 363. Letter of Walter Stokes to Dr. Humphry Ely, 
dated 10 May (1587) with an enclosure "True Intelligence". 
Brit. Mus. MSS. Lansdowne, vol. 96, printed by Pollen in C.R.S. 
V. 142, 143. Catalogue of the Martyrs (1587-94), Stonyhurst 
MSS. Anglia 7, 26, printed in C.R.S. v. 288-9. Benjamin 
Norton to Dr. Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalced on, 6 May, 1626. 
Relations Concerning the Martyrs^ printed in C.R.S. v. 394. 
Challoner. Reg. Oxon. II. ii. 66 ; iii. 6. Douay Diaries. 





York, 23 March, 1587. 

Edmund Sykes was a Yorkshireman, born in the 
neighbourhood of Leeds. He received his early 
education in the schools of his native county, and 
then according to Father Christopher Grene's MS. 
F, proceeded to Oxford, though his name does not 
appear in the Registers of that University. 

The first mention of him in the Douay Diaries is 
under date 22 January, 1580, as follows, *' redierunt ex 
Anglia Sikes et Hargraves cumque illis adduxerunt 
Fletcherum quendam juvenem," from which it would 
seem that his entry at the college was made at some 
earlier date. This inference is strengthened by the 
fact that on 28 May following he was ordained sub- 
deacon at Soissons : and he was made deacon on 17 
December of the same year. On 21 February, 1581, 
he received the priesthood. His first Mass was 
offered in St. Stephen's Church at Rheims on 2 
March, and he set out for the English Mission on 
5 June, having as his companion Venerable John 
Amias, who was also to seal his ministry with his 
blood. The field of his labours was his own county, 



where for over three years he travelled about from 
place to place, living as a poor pilgrim, and both by 
his teaching, and still more by the example of his 
life, was enabled to strengthen the faith of the 
wavering, to regain many that were lapsed, and to 
bring the consolations of religion to all. He appears 
to have made Leeds the centre from which his zeal 
radiated through the surrounding country, and it was 
in that town that he was captured. The austerity 
of his life, and his unsparing labours caused him to 
succumb to an extreme ague, and during his sickness 
he was apprehended by Arthur Webster, an apostate 
to whose mother he had ministered. This venerable 
woman and her daughter Frances were both con- 
fessors of the faith and both died in York Castle in 
the summer of 1585. Mr. Sykes was brought before 
the Council of the North, and committed to the 
Ousebridge Kidcote. The horrors of that prison 
unbalanced his reason, and in a moment of weakness 
he consented to attend the schismatical service, but 
he straightway recovered himself, and was committed 
again to the prison, where he remained in close 
confinement for nearly six months. He was then 
again brought before the Council, and sentenced to 
banishment. With ten others he was transferred on 
23 August, 1585, to the Castle of Kingston-upon-Hull, 
and within a week placed on shipboard and sent 
beyond the seas. He probably went to the College 
at Rheims to abide a favourable opportunity of 
return to the Lord's vineyard, and meanwhile he paid 
a visit to Rome "upon some occasion that happened 
whilst he was prisoner". 

18 * 


He was at this time considering the desirability of 
becoming a religious. His weakness of purpose in 
York Castle was ever before his mind, and made him 
mistrustful of self, and he turned towards the re- 
ligious life for the support he needed and the oppor- 
tunity of atoning for his fall by a life of discipline. 
It was to learn God's will on this matter, and to 
atone for any scandal he had given by yielding to 
the heretics, that he made his pilgrimage to Rome. 
And God's will was manifested to him, for it is re- 
corded that whilst at prayer in a certain church *' he 
had a revelation which foreshadowed unto him that 
he should return into England, and there receive his 
crown ". He had come to Rome in doubt, and with 
heaviness of heart ; he left it in great joy, and 
hastened to his conflict. While there he was enter- 
tained at the English Hospice for nine days (15-24 
April), and on setting forth he received an alms of 
two crowns. He reached Rheims on 10 June, but 
only tarried for a very brief rest, leaving the College 
on the i6th, eager for the harvest and his reward. 
He had not long to wait. He returned to York- 
shire, and came to Wath, in the neighbourhood of 
Tanfeld, to his brother's house. This brother betrayed 
him, and he was apprehended, and taken to York. 
The Council sent him close prisoner to York Castle, 
where he was subjected to great hardship, in the 
hope of weakening his purpose. 

He had ever been a man of great abstinence and 
austerity of life, and by reason of his former weak- 
ness he was now more exact than ever in self- 
discipline. It had been his custom to scourge himself 


every week on Wednesday and Friday, and this 
practice he maintained in prison even after his con- 
demnation. A fellov^-priest, to whom he revealed 
the great loathing of this mortification he now 
experienced, advised him not to punish his body any 
more, since it was so soon to be glorified. He was 
most regular in prayer, and gave long hours to watch- 
ing. While in his most strait and very troublesome 
prison he used each day to prostrate himself half an 
hour upon the cold ground, and besides his breviary, 
he used to recite the whole psalter weekly, and many 
other prayers and devotions. 

Thus by prayer and by the experience of suffering, 
he acquired the virtue of patience and learned to die. 
While he was awaiting his trial, he experienced great 
temptations to lapse into his former fault and re- 
nounce his religion, and his fellow-prisoners heard 
him disputing and contending with one whom he re- 
buked and rejected with contempt. They afterwards 
learned from him that the devil had been there to 
trouble and molest him ; but by prayer and mortifi- 
cation he obtained the grace to repel him. 

He was brought to trial at the Lent assizes and 
placed among the felons at the bar. The charge was 
high treason in having been made priest beyond the 
seas, and come to England, and further in having re- 
turned to England after his banishment. He ad- 
mitted his priesthood, but absolutely denied that he 
was a traitor. The judge threw in his face his former 
conduct when he had consented to go to the church, 
and afterwards refused, but he replied : *' It was the 
infirmity of sickness which caused me to go to your 


service, and not for any liking I had of it ; the which 
I have repented, and now detest to do it. Neither 
did I wholly that which was required, or like of your 
doing, wherefore I was kept in prison, and so ban- 

He was found guilty and condemned to the usual 
penalty, whereat he rejoiced greatly and thanked 
God. Being led back to the Castle, he was placed 
in a special prison, and carefully guarded that night, 
that none of the other prisoners might be able to ap- 
proach him, and no priest absolve him. The next 
day, being 23 March, 1587, he was laid on the hurdle 
in the Castle yard, and dragged thence, amid the as- 
saults and insults of the heretics, to the Tyburn, 
where the sentence was carried out. He was hanged, 
bowelled, and quartered, and thus passed to the crown 
that he had learned at the Confession of the Apostle 
was awaiting him. 

J. L. W. 

Authorities. — Father Christopher Grene, S.J., Collectanea 
F, printed in Foley, Records S./., vol. iii. p. 736 ff. ; cp. p. 249 
(the account of the Websters) ; Collectanea E summarized, 
printed in Pollen, A.E.M. p. 328 ; Aticient Editor's Note Book^ 
printed by Morris, Troubles^ vol. iii. p. 40 ; Wm. Mutton's Notes 
in Ousebridge Kidcote, printed in same vol., p. 3 1 2 ; Extract from 
Housebooks of York City (dated 23 Aug., 1585), printed in same 
vol., p. 272. Challoner. Douay Diaries. Pilgrim Book of the 
English College., Rome., printed in Foley, Records S.J.., vol. vi. 
p. 559. 




Gloucester^ about Easter, 1587. 

The Ven. Stephen Rowsham (also Rouse) was a 
native of Oxfordshire and a member of Oxford Uni- 
versity, where he is found as a commoner of Oriel 
College in 1572. He was a man of deeply religious 
temperament, one to whose mind the supernatural 
order was very vividly present at all times. Follow- 
ing this bent, he took orders in the State religion, 
and was minister at St. Mary's, the University Church, 
about the year 1578. But his mind did not find rest 
in that ofBce ; he was drawn towards the old reli- 
gion, but experienced much doubt as to whether he 
should find peace in following that inclination. It is 
narrated that while he was still in schism at Oxford, 
his future crown of martyrdom was shown him most 
gloriously yet without precision, in this manner. A 
magnificent display of meteoric activity was at that 
time attracting attention, and one night Rowsham 
went out in company with others to view the spec- 
tacle. Suddenly he saw over his head and very near 
to him a crown very bright and resplendent, and he 



pointed it out to his companions. Vague though the 
portent was at the time, his noble death lends it the 
deepest significance. Divine grace was working with 
him at this time, and in its strength he was able to 
overcome his doubts, and sacrifice his prospects. He 
delivered himself unreservedly into the hands of God, 
resigned his benefice, sought reconciliation with the 
Church, and set out for Rheims. On landing in 
France he experienced an access of consolation, and 
as it were of certainty that his sacrifice had been ac- 
cepted and that he was doing God's will ; so that he 
was led to cast himself upon his knees, and with great 
earnestness return thanks to God, and offer himself 
unreservedly to His Divine Majesty. Then he told 
his companions that now, provided he might live as a 
good Catholic, he cared not if henceforth he had to 
earn his bread at the plough tail. He reached Rheims 
on 23 April, 1581, was made deacon at Soissons on 
23 September following, and on Michaelmas Day re- 
ceived the priesthood in the same cathedral. The 
seven months following his ordination he spent at 
Rheims. One day, shortly after his ordination, as he 
was saying Mass in St. Stephen's Church in that city, 
a large spider fell from the roof into the chalice as 
he uncovered it to adore the Precious Blood. This 
caused him much repugnance and some fear, and in 
his simplicity he was at a loss what to do. But his 
piety and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament dictated 
his course, and he made up his mind to risk death 
rather than expose the Precious Blood to any disre- 
spect. Having silently invoked the divine assistance, 
and comniended hirnself to the mercy of Christ, he 


swallowed the spider together with the Precious 
Blood. So far was he from suffering any ill thereby, 
that as he afterwards related his faith in the most Holy 
Sacrament was henceforth wonderfully confirmed, 
and he affirmed that his repugnance was on that 
occasion turned into the greatest relish. 

On 30 April, 1582, he set out for England, having 
as his companion Ven. Robert Ludlam, also a martyr. 
In England, he at once fell into the hands of the per- 
secutors, the malformation of his body exposing him 
to ready recognition. He is described by Father 
William Warford, S.J., who knew him well, as a man 
of handsome and manly face with a chestnut brown 
beard, and a clear, sweet voice. He was small of 
stature, with one shoulder higher than the other, 
and a certain twist in the neck (though not a very 
ugly one, adds Father Warford). This it was that 
betrayed him, and he was committed to the Tower 
on 19 May, 1582. Writing from Rheims on 11 
June, Dr. Allen tells Father Agazzario in Rome " D. 
Barns nobilis quidam . . . captus fuit cum quodam 
bono sacerdote alumno hujus collegii, et sunt ambo 
in Turri". Allen does not name the "good priest," 
who would have been unknown to Agazzario, but we 
learn from the Diarium Turris that the reference is 
to Stephen Rowsham. He now looked forward to a 
speedy conflict unto death, and hoped to be united 
in suffering with his familiar acquaintance, Mr. 
Thomas Ford, Mr. John Shert and Mr. Robert 
Johnson, who were martyred in London on 28 May, 
1582, but his work was not yet done. He was to 
endure imprisonment and torture for more than three 


years, and then to be banished beyond the seas. 
During his confinement God favoured his servant 
with many consolations. One day, when he much 
desired to celebrate Mass, all things necessary thereto 
were conveyed to him, he not knowing how, or by 
whom. It is also recorded that at the very hour in 
which his above-mentioned acquaintance were glori- 
fying God at Tyburn, Mr. Rowsham perceived in his 
dungeon a most sweet and pleasant light, and felt 
at the same time three gentle strokes on his right 
hand ; thus did he feel what pains their martyrdom 
had been to them, and with what joy they were re- 
warded. At another time when he was daily ex- 
pecting to be called to trial, and to be sentenced to 
the same death as theirs, he had an indication from 
heaven that his time was not yet come, but thaf^he 
was to say many Masses more before his death. On 
14 August, he was placed in the dungeon known as 
Little Ease, and in that cell he was cribbed for eigh- 
teen months and thirteen days.^ In this long period 
of wearing and wearying confinement, his strength 
was sustained by divine visitations. God the Father 
and Christ our Saviour full often appeared to him, 
and so did our Blessed Lady, with words he would not 
utter, and glorious souls of saints, sometimes remain- 
ing many hours with him, and leaving behind them 
the fragrance of their presence. On one occasion for 
the space of a day and a half he seemed to be already 
in heaven, the joys he experienced were so great and 

^ Thus the Dia?ium Turris ; the actual time would appear to 
have been two days short of eighteen months (14 August, 1582, 
till 12 February, 1584), 


SO strange. Something of the happiness in which he 
was enabled to endure his narrow cell is shown in 
the following letter which was found upon Thomas 
Pounde, a noted confessor of the Faith, who had 
been a fellow-prisoner in the Tower. It was sent by 
four Justices of the Peace for Surrey to Secretary 
Walsingham on i September, 1586, and is assigned 
by R. Simpson {Rambler, 1857) to Stephen Rowsham. 

" Sub cruce labor 
" Good Sir — As I am verye glade to heare that 
youe were plunged oute of the ponds and pitts of 
infinite perills when youe were freed from the 
tragicall Towers, whence rather was expected your 
marterdome than youre enlargement : so hearing yt 
youe were relegatus in insulam and confined to a place 
of perpetuall imprisonment never to be sene or harde 
of of youre lovinge frends dwringe the tymes of 
persecutyon : I asswre youe even Gladius doloris per- 
transivit animam meam quod talent amicum amiserim, 
cujus amicitia tarn jucundissima olim perfrui solebam. 
Howbeit nowe latly, havinge Teceyved youre goulden 
cordiall coumforte, and made partaker w^^ my aflicted 
frende of youre country's prouysye [prowess] et tibi 
gratulor et mihi gaudeo et habetur et referetur a me {cum 
potero) tibi gratia semper. And forasmuch as, being 
acquainted w^h your zealous, godly constancy, I have 
known your disposition to be delighted rather w^^ 
authentical antiquities than w^h newfangled novelties, 
I send for your New Year's gift an oulde booke of 
Contemplative Centiloquies, in w^h are comprysed a 
swete delectable himme made of the Cros, w^h a dole- 


ful songe of the nitingall toutchinge Christ's Passion, 
wch you will putt pen to paper to give it a new Inglish 
liverye. Utere^ fruere^ lege, relege, perlege, content' 
plando meditare, et meditando contemplare, et {quam 
graphice poteris) in Nostram Ideomam [sic] traducite, sic 
semper honos nomenque tuum sine fine manehunt. Thus 
beinge merye with my sorrowes, when I wryte to 
youe, beseechinge oure Lorde to bles youe w^^ all 
benedictyons temperall and eternall, I ende. Vive^ 
vale ; superes longos Nestoris annos. Tuus pro arbitratu 

" Stephanus Captivus." 

On 12 February, 1583-4, Stephen Rowsham was 
released from the Little Ease and, in company with 
Mr. Godsalf, another seminary priest, was sent from 
the Tower to the Marshalsea. There he was de- 
tained until the early autumn of 1585, when in pur- 
suance of the Government's changed policy, he was 
placed on shipboard and sent beyond the seas, to 
return at the immediate peril of his life. He reached 
Rheims on 8 October, 'but his ardent zeal for the 
salvation of souls, which in his banishment became 
greater every day, and his desire to glorify God by 
martyrdom, made him eager to be back in England. 
When they were in the Tower, Father John Hart had 
written 15 November, 1582, to Dr. Allen, of Rowsham 
and some other prisoners, *' all of us by the grace of 
God are in the Faith, and there is not one of us who 
is not resolved to hold the Faith, and fight against 
heresy, though it were necessary to shed his blood 
for bis religion ". That fight and that death now, in 


the inactivity of exile, called more insistently than 
ever upon the ready will of Mr. Rowsham. He set 
out from Rheims on 7 February, 1586, to return to 
England. For how long, and with what success he 
was able to exercise his ministry, we do not know, 
but it was in the midst of his labours that he was 
apprehended in Gloucestershire in the house of a 
widow named Strange, and he was lodged in Glou- 
cester Jail. Brought to the bar, he was arraigned for 
being made priest beyond the seas, returning to 
England, and making it his business there to recon- 
cile the Queen's subjects to the Catholic Church. 
All this he freely confessed ; but so far from acknow- 
ledging any guilt, much less any treason in his acts, 
he openly protested that if he had many lives he would 
most willingly lay them all down for so good a cause. 
Standing among the common felons, in the very 
presence of his judges and of the public there as- 
sembled, he discoursed with his fellow-prisoners, and 
was able to gain several of them to God, some of whom 
died with him, while others who were acquitted and 
subsequently released, continued fervent and stead- 
fast Catholics. The great joy he showed on hearing 
his sentence, which was passed in the usual form for 
high treason, was noted and admired by the whole 
assembly. As he was taken back to prison, there to 
await the carrying out of his sentence, a number of 
apprentices and other youths of Gloucester spitefully 
pelted him from a dunghill, and all bewrayed his face 
and clothes. 

The days that remained to him were a time of 
ceaseless activity up to the very last. He was able 


to offer the Holy Sacrifice daily, and it happened 
that he was in the midst of his Mass when the 
Sheriff's officers came to summon him to death. 
They were told that he was not yet ready, and begged 
to have a little patience, to which they agreed. All 
present were confessed and received Holy Communion 
at his hands. When Mass was over, he said Vespers, 
and then blessed and embraced every one in turn. 
Then he went forth to his executioners, himself cheer- 
ful, but all his company much lamenting his leaving 
them. Before he came to the hurdle, one of the 
underkeepers said to him : *' O Mr. Rowsham, if I 
were in the like danger as you are, and might avoid 
it as easily as you may by going to church, surely I 
would soon yield to that". The happy priest an- 
swered : *' I pray thee be contented, good friend ; within 
this hour I shall conquer the world, the flesh and the 
devil ". He was so laid on the hurdle that one of his 
legs draggled on the ground as he was drawn, and 
being urged by a schismatic woman to draw it up, he 
replied, " No, all is too little for Christ's sake," and so 
came to the place of torment. Arrived there, he was 
quite unnerved, though not shaken in his constancy, 
by the fear that they would treat him as they had 
done the Venerable John Sandys, who was cut down 
while still alive, and completely recovered conscious- 
ness before they proceeded to disembowel and quarter 
him. But that outrage was spared him, by reason of 
the outcry it had raised among the people, voiced by 
the schismatic dean and preachers. He was therefore 
allowed to hang until he was dead, and the rest of the 
sentence was carried out upon his body. The day of 


his death is not known, but it was earlier than 10 
May, 1587/ and would seem to have been some time 
after 11 August, 1586, the day on which the Venerable 
John Sandys glorified God ; there is a tradition that it 
was during March, 1587. 

J. L. W. 

Authorities.— Father Christopher Grene's Collectanea M, 
printed in Pollen, A.E.M. pp. 332-4 ; Foley, Records S./., iv. 
340-1 ; Oliver, Collections^ p. 10 1 sq. Morris, Troubles^ iii. 
Father William IVarforcTs Recollections (Stonyhurst MSS. M\ 
printed in Pollen, A.E.M. pp. 260-1. Foley, Records S./., iv. 581. 
Diarium Turris. Prison Lists, P.R.O. Dom. Eliz. 159, 36 ; 169, 
24 ; 170, II ; 180, 64, printed in C.R.S. vol. ii. Douay Diaries. 
Reg. Oxon. II. iii. 40. Challoner. Simpson, Ratnbler (1857), 
viii. 102. The letter of Stephanus Captivus might also be 
from Thomas Stevens, a special friend of Pounde, see Foley, 
Records., iii. 614. 

^ Letter of Walter Stokes on that date to Dr. Ely : Lansdowne 
MSS. (Brit. Mus.) vol. 96, printed in C.R.S. v. 142. 



Salisbury^ about Easter^ 1587. 

The Venerable John Hambly may well be regarded as 
one of the weak things of this world which, as St. 
Paul says, it is God's way to choose that those that 
are strong may be put to confusion. And we may 
also see in him a fulfilment of Our Lord's promise of 
the great reward in store for those who are faithful 
in few things. As a young man, following the lead- 
ing of conscience, he abjured the State religion in 
which he had been nurtured, and sought salvation in 
the Church. The step entailed the loss of much 
that the natural man treasures. Worldly prospects, 
relatives and friends, his father's house and native 
place, all these were surrendered for the Kingdom of 
Heaven. And yet he was a man who readily shrank 
from pain. He was not made of the stuff out of 
which this world fashions its heroes. Moral suffer- 
ing he might endure, but the approach of physical pain 
made him play the coward and forsake his resolutions. 
But he knew his character and recognized his weak- 
ness ; therefore when his conscience led him to abstain 



from the State worship, he left the county where he 
was known, and made for London, because he was 
afraid of the penalties recusancy would bring upon 
him, were it known. Three years later, now a 
seminary priest, he falls into the hands of the justices; 
the dread of a barbarous death overpowers him, and 
he is willing to promise apostasy if only he may 
avoid the torment. He escapes from prison, but is 
again taken. And now his cowardice drags him 
still lower : he will not merely apostatize, but even 
turn traitor if only his skin may be safe. He does 
not refrain from bringing upon others those very 
torments from which he is shrinking, so long as his 
own body may be spared. And so he betrays every- 
thing. He narrates to the justices his whole life 
since his conversion ; where he has been, what he 
has done, whom he has met. He mentions and ac- 
curately describes the places where he has heard and 
said Mass ; tells who were present, with such descrip- 
tions of their persons and other indications as may 
lead to their ready identification ; states who pro- 
cured the Mass to be said, what provision was made 
for its celebration, how many communicants there 
were, and what the oifertory amounted to. He 
names upwards of fifteen priests then in England, 
besides fourteen engaged at Rheims, and others whom 
he saw at the College. He describes the method of 
reception at Rheims, the various occupations there, 
the number of students, of whom he names several, 
the mode of their maintenance, and gives the names 
of the College staff and their various duties. He 
also tells of the Jesuit schools at Verdun, Mussoponte 



[Pont-a-Musson] and Eu. He indicates the inns 
where he and other priests have made their abode ; 
and also the places where Catholics meet for inter- 
course. He discloses those whom he had reconciled, 
those to whom he had ministered, and the houses 
where he had been entertained. He betrays those 
who had contributed to his support, giving their 
names, and the amount of their offerings. Such was 
the depth to which his pusillanimity dragged him ; 
and yet after, and in spite of all, he laid down his 
life for the Faith. But it needed what appears a 
manifest intervention from Almighty God to secure 
him the requisite fortitude. ** Not that we are suffi- 
cient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves; 
but our sufficiency is from God." The courage of 
the martyrs is always a special grace, though this 
character is not discerned with the same ease in all 
cases. The Venerable John Hambly is an instance 
where it is the more manifest. We may believe that 
Almighty God was not unmindful of the sacrifices of 
his youth, and of the means his humility led him 
then to adopt in order to safeguard his frailty ; but 
that in token of- that fidelity, in his hour of greatest 
need He came to His servant's aid, and bestowed 
upon him a grace, the right use of which was to set 
him over many things, and bring him to the joy of 
his Lord. And if before strengthening him, it was 
God's plan to subject him to the degradation and 
humiliation of his treachery, is not that God's way 
of dealing with those on whom He bestows singular 
graces, so that from the weakness of the creature the 
power of God may be manifest, that he who glorieth 


may glory in the Lord, and that from our knowledge 
and recognition of the inadequacy of the material 
from which His martyr was made, God may be 
glorified the more. 

John Hambly was a native of the parish of St. 
Mabyn, about six miles from Bodmin, in Cornwall. 
His boyhood was unsettled and perhaps restless ; he 
tells that he studied Latin at various schools in his 
native county, with intervals during which he lived 
at home. We have no indication of the date of his 
birth — it would seem to have been not later than 
1560 — nor of his mode of life before the year 1582. 
In that year his fellow-townsman and friend Nicholas 
Baldwin, who had previously been a scholar of Exeter 
College, Oxford, and was a Papist, often talked with 
him on the religious question. Baldwin placed in 
his hands several books dealing with the current 
controversy, among them being Father Persons's 
Brief Discours contayning certayne Reasons why Catho- 
liques refuse to goe to Church (1580). This book 
influenced him greatly; and coupled with his con- 
ferences with Baldwin led him to determine to follow 
his natural inclination towards the old religion. Ac- 
cordingly about Christmas, 1582, he ceased to attend 
the worship bylaw established. Fearing the penalty 
entailed by absence from Church, he decided to leave 
the county where he was known, and journeyed to 
London, where he took up his abode at the '* Sun and 
Seven Stars," in Smithfield, until May, 1583. Soon 
after his coming to London he was reconciled to the 
Church by Mr. Fortescue, a seminary priest, in a 
chamber over the gate at the sign of the **«Red Lion " 

19 * 


in Holborn, where the said Fortescue, and another 
seminary priest, Mr. David Tomson, vere Kemp, made 
their abode. During his stay in London he consorted 
freely with Catholics, visiting the prisoners in the 
Marshalsea, where he heard two Masses, the one 
during Lent, said by Mr. Richard Norris, and the 
other at Easter, said either by Mr. John Tibbitt, or 
by Mr. William Warmington. 

At the beginning of May he left London for Rheims. 
With Richard Norris and four others he sailed from 
Rye in Sussex to Dieppe, which port was reached on 
4 May, thence they made their way to Rouen where 
they met three Lancashire men, Mr. Godeson, William 
Tomson, and James Nightingale, who were also mak- 
ing for Rheims. With these three, Richard Norris 
and Mr. Hambly joined company and journeyed 
to Paris where they remained for two or three days, 
and thence they made their way to Rheims, where 
" they made it known to Dr. Allen that they came over 
for their conscience, and so were received into the 
College ". The entry in the College Diary is ** 28 
May, 1583, ex Anglia venerunt Gilbertus Gerarde, 
Gulielmus Tomson, Jacobus Nightingale, D. Thomas 
Browne, Hugo Aspenwall, Joannes Thules, Gilbertus 
Gerard [sic], [blank] Hambly". Hambly remained 
two years at Rheims, during which time '' he studied 
the cases of conscience which Mr. Doctor Webbe 
did read, and the cases of controversies " under Dr. 
Barrett. He received the tonsure and minor orders 
on the day before Laetare Sunday, 31 March, 1584, 
in the Chapel of the Holy Rood of the Cathedral 
of Rheims at the hands of the Cardinal de Guise ; 


was made subdeacon by the Bishop of " Traysalpina 
as he thinketh," ^ deacon by the Cardinal de Guise 
at Rouen, and priest by the Bishop of Laon in his 
Cathedral on 22 September, 1584. He was sent on 
the mission from Rheims on 6 April, 1585, " by the 
license and appointment of Dr. Allen, to convert 
those that are in error, and to save souls ; to whom 
he did affirm to do his uttermost endeavour to convert 
those in England which were not of the Romish Re- 
ligion ". From Dr. Webbe he received four pounds or 
thereabout for his journey, which he made disguised 
as a serving man, and in the company of two other 
priests, Mr. Maurice Williams, and Mr. James Cleyton. 
They crossed the sea in a foreign bottom ; Mr. Cley- 
ton was landed at Newcastle, while Hambly and 
Williams disembarked on the sands about thirty miles 
beyond Ipswich. Thence they journeyed to London 
and both took up their abode at the " Blue Boar " in 
Holborn ; but a fortnight later Hambly removed to 
the " Red Lion," also in Holborn. He sought out and 
placed himself at the disposal of Father John Cor- 
nelius, the martyr, and had from him twenty shillings 
towards his maintenance. Father Cornelius sent him 
to say Mass on Easter Day (11 April, O.S.) "in a 
chamber near the [south-west] corner of Grays Inn 
Court," at which Mass there were present nine or ten 
gentlemen of the Inns of Court, of whom six or seven 
communicated at his hands. After Mass he made 
holy water and holy bread. He also reconciled one 

^Thus his statement in his examination; according to the 
Douay Diary he received the subdiaconate at the same time as 
the tonsure and minor orders. 


Mr. Good, a young lawyer, whom he afterwards met 
by appointment on two or three occasions in Gray's 
Inn Fields, and who was also present at the second 
Mass which he said in London. This was towards 
the end of April, and was said in a house in Fleet 
Street near the great Conduit ; four or five were 
present, and there were one or two communicants. 
In May he left London where he had been for about 
five weeks ** and was directed by one Nicolas Blewett, 
a Cornishman, to one Andrew Munday who dwelleth 
at a farm of one Mr. Watkins in Bemester [Bea- 
minster] in Dorsetshire, where he hath made his most 
common abode ever since, where he hath said since 
his first coming thither an viii or ix masses, and was 
helped to say the said Masses by one William Barnett, 
dwelling at Coltley in Maxton [Manston ?] parish in 
Dorsetshire and being a weaver by his occupation ". 
The Masses were all " said in the said Munday's own 
chamber," Munday and Barnett were present at them 
all, and at one of them " two other gentlemen whose 
names he knoweth not ". Between Christmas and 
Candlemas, 1586 (N.S.) he said one Mass at Mr- 
Whitell's house in Corscombe parish within a mile 
of the said Munday's. He reconciled at the Three 
Crowns Inn, at Bridgewater, ** where they lay all 
night together," Mr. James Pippyn, to whose house 
within a mile of Bridgewater he also resorted. 

Some time after Easter (3 April), 1586, he rode to 
Chard to meet Mr. Fulford, son of Sir John Fulford, 
at one of the inns. They spent the night together, 
and in the morning set out for Beaminster, having 
with them a gentlewoman to whom he was to marry 


Mr. Fulford at a Mass the next morning in Munday's 
house. On their way, however, they were detected, 
and apprehended at Crewkerne, Mr. Hambly being 
recognized and denounced by a gentleman's servant 
who had once been his fellow-lodger. They were 
" all brought before Mr. Attorney by whom after ex- 
amination had, this examinate [Hambly] was com- 
mitted to the Common Gaol of Ilchester, and the 
said Mr. Fulford and the gentlewoman were let go, 
who departed back again into Devonshire ". Hambly 
was put on his trial at the assizes at Taunton, and 
*' condemned for being a seminary priest, and had 
his judgement thereupon," i.e. was sentenced to the 
full penalty of the law. But he was not steadfast, 
and by " submission and promise of reconcilement 
to her Majesty's laws," procured a reprieve. From 
his action both on this occasion and subsequently it 
does not appear that he was at any time really weak 
in his faith or ready to abandon it ; it was his lack 
of courage sufficient for undergoing the dreadful 
penalties the law prescribed that led him now and 
again to make terms with the State party. His 
scheme appears to have been to obtain time ; he 
probably hoped that his sentence would then after a 
time be changed into one of banishment (as was 
occurring at that time in many instances), or that 
otherwise he would secure an opportunity of effecting 
his escape : in any case he would avoid the dread 
penalty of death. It was a dangerous course indeed, 
and one which subsequently led him farther than he 
could have wished, but it was one that it was very 
natural for any but a strong man to grasp at. That 


the court party distrusted his sincerity is indicated 
from the phrase of the Bishop of Salisbury and Giles 
Estcourt in their letter to the Council, " as he beareth 
us in hand " ; and further they do not favour accom- 
modating him in the scheme but leave " him and his 
deserts " to the Council's honourable consideration. 
And when ultimately he witnessed unto death, it 
needed something like Divine intervention to secure 
him the courage needful that his acts should not 
deny the faith that was in him. 

On this occasion, then, he promised to submit, 
and by that means secured a reprieve and the hope 
of an easier imprisonment. An opportunity present- 
ing itself, he broke prison and came to the house of 
the Widow Browne at Knoyle. The pretext that he 
subsequently gave for escaping was that he could not 
obtain the less rigorous imprisonment, ''twopence a 
day more and a bed, as it was allowed and appointed," 
that had been promised. On the eve of the Assump- 
tion search was made in the houses of recusants and 
other suspected Catholics for priests and papists as- 
sembled to keep the feast. Mr. Hambly was taken 
at Knoyle, about fifteen miles west of Salisbury. He 
was examined on the Thursday following (i8 August) 
by John Piers the State Bishop of Salisbury and Giles 
Estcourt, a Justice of the Peace for Wiltshire. In 
his deposition on that occasion he betrayed most of 
his Catholic acquaintance, and gave a full account of 
his manner of life and activities since his conversion. 
It is from that confession that the details hitherto 
recorded have been culled. He showed himself " con- 
tent (so he may obtain mercy of her majesty and 


pardon for his life) to forsake the Pope, come to the 
church, and willingly follow her Majesty's proceed- 
ings ". But as has been seen, the Bishop and the 
Justice mistrusted his professions, and suggested in 
no obscure language that the law should be allowed 
to take its course. Accordingly he was kept in prison 
until the assizes. Father Warford tells us that his 
imprisonment was one of great hardship ; and that 
though certain Catholics living in the neighbourhood 
might have relieved him, they did not do so. We 
now know that his treachery was responsible for 
this, and that it is not to be attributed merely to 
" some letters he had written to a lapsed Catholic 
which were found on him, and on account of which 
Popham took occasion to harass the latter ". He was 
put on his trial at the next assizes held at Salisbury. 
The assizes were held in booths in the open, and 
the prisoners before their trial and after their sentence 
were herded together under the custody of constables. 
At his arraignment the Judge, Baron Gent, urged 
Hambly to conform, and such was his pusillanim- 
ity that he promised to yield in those things that 
were required. He was then set down again with 
the other prisoners. And now the incident occurred 
which from a coward enabled him to become a martyr. 
'* Whilst other business was proceeded with, and the 
priest was standing between the constables like the 
rest of the condemned, there came up to him a cer- 
tain unknown man, who, after placing some letters 
in his hand, at once withdrew. No one preventing 
him (which in itself was a kind of miracle), Mr. 
Hambly read and re-read them until at length he 


broke into tears, and gave signs of being strongly 
moved. Then he wsls asked by the officials of the 
Court what had happened, what those letters were, 
who had brought them, and the like ; he, however, 
excused himself, and gave no answer." The next 
morning, when asked by the Judges as usual for the 
second and last time, whether he would adhere to his 
promised conformity (this is their word for recanting), 
he announced very promptly and resolutely in open 
court his deep sense of shame for his weakness, and 
bitterly lamented that the solicitations of his lord- 
ship, and the terror of impending death, had for a 
time shaken his resolution ; but that now the most 
excruciating torments would prove most acceptable 
to him. The Judge getting angry and demanding 
the cause of this sudden change, he answered that 
there was no new cause beyond that which held him 
in fetters ; that he grieved from the bottom of his 
heart for having so basely yielded to the Judge's 
threats and blandishments : henceforth let them not 
expect any more such weakness. Then the Judge 
threatened him with a most cruel death, to which 
he answered that he would accept it most gratefully. 
To this determination he adhered with great con- 
stancy. Sentence was pronounced and the next day 
he was crowned with martyrdom. 

Simpson places the date of his passion as *' about 
Easter, 1587 ". In that year Easter Day was kept in 
England on 16 April (O.S.). A letter written at 
Rouen on 10 May (N.S.) [30 April O.S.] by Walter 
Stokes and sent to Dr. Humphrey Ely bears the 
news : " Our countrymen say that Mr. Pylcher was 


executed of late, as I have said before, Mr. Hambden 
at Salisbury," etc., whence it would appear that he was 
arraigned at the Lent Assizes in 1587 at Salisbury, 
and suffered in that city as Father Warford says, on 
the day after his condemnation. 

In a Catalogue of the martyrs for the j'ears 1587- 
94 preserved at Stonyhurst and attributed to Father 
John Gerard, S.J., this record is found : ** Another 
priest [suffered] about that time in Somerset, removed 
from Salisbury, who first had yealded of freiltie and 
afterwards muche repented him (and was comforted 
in prison by Mr. Pilchard then alsoe prisoner) and 
stoud to it manfully, inveighinge rr^uche against his 
former fault". The reference is probably to Mr. 
Hambly whose case it accurately describes,^ on the 
supposition that the place of his passion (Salisbury) 
and that of his arrest (Crewkerne, in Somerset) have 
been transposed by an error of the compiler, an error 
which the similarity of the words Somerset and Salis- 
bury would render very easy. This record may also 
supply the clue to the reason why some authorities 
have placed the scene of Mr. Hambly's martyrdom 
in Somersetshire at Chard. The letter above quoted 
seems conclusive that he suffered at Salisbury in the 
Lent of 1587. 

Father Warford adds : '* Although it is certain that 
these letters restored him to a right mind, yet to 
this day it is not known who wrote or brought them, 
although diligent search has been made in the matter. 

^ It is difficult however to understand the reference to the 
Venerable Thomas Pilchard. Did those letters come from him ? 


Hence many not without reason believe that they 
were brought by his Guardian Angel." 

J. L. W. 

Authorities. — His examination taken on i8 August, 1586, 
and preserved in P.R.O. Dom. Eliz. 192, 46, with the covering 
letter, in C.J^.S. vii. 167-73, partially printed in Foley, Records 
SJ.^ vol. iii. p. 441, cp. vol. iv. p. 698, and summarized by Simp- 
son in Rambler, vol. x. N.S. p. 325. Father William Warford, 
S.J., in Collectanea M, printed in Foley, and A.E.M. pp. 268-70, 
C.R.S. vol. V. pp. 140-3, 289. Oliver, Collections, p. 318. 
Douay Diaries. Challoner (ed. 1877), p. 131. 



Stafford, 27 July, 1587. 

The few details we have of the early years of this 
martyr have been preserved by Father Grene in the 
following words: ''Robert Sutton, priest, born in 
Burton-on-Trent, his father a carpenter. He was 
brought up in learning in the said Burton, till he 
came to the age of fifteen or sixteen years ; then he 
was sent to Oxford, and first chosen scholar of Christ- 
church, after proceeded Bachelor and Master of Arts. 
He read logic, philosophy, Greek and Hebrew lec- 
tures in the college. He continued in the college 
eleven or twelve years, was parson of Lutterworth, 
in Leicestershire, six years." 

As the Douay Diary gives the date of his conver- 
sion as 1577, we may conclude from the above ac- 
count that Robert was born between 1543 and 1545, 
i.e. at the close of the reign of Henry VIII. He 
had three younger brothers, William, Abraham and 
John, all of whom, like Robert, were converted to 
the old faith. It was while Robert was " Usurper of 
the office of parish priest at Lutterworth, where 



formerly the impious heretic WyckHff had held that 
office " (Fr. Gerard) that his younger brother William 
was converted and went to study at Douay, 1573. 
In accordance with Allen's plan, whereby so many 
converts had been drawn from Oxford to Douay, 
William wrote frequently to his brother warning him 
of the duty of abjuring heresy. This we gather from 
the Douay Diary, which says under the heading 
March, 1577, '* 23 die venerunt hue ex anglia Rober- 
tus Suttonus et frater ejus Abrahamus. Hi variis 
haereticorum, ac mundi laqueis irretiti, tandem per 
summam Dei largitatem, crebro hinc per literas 
suorum de hac re scrip interpellati, se ab illis vinculis 

And the vague " suorum " of the Diary is supple- 
mented by the statement of Father Gerard, who says : 
" Mr. Robert was converted to the true faith, and at 
the same time to a sound and holy mind by his 
younger brother, Mr. William Sutton, a learned and 
pious man ". 

We have two accounts of his leaving Lutterworth, 
the first, brief and quaint, is taken from the Catalogue 
of Martyrs preserved at Stonyhurst ; '' This man, 
being minister at Lutterworth in Lecstershire, be- 
fore his goinge over he first tould all his parishe owt 
of the pulpit that he had taught them falce doctrine, 
and willed them to embrace the Catholicke Faith, 
which then himself ment to followe, and presently 
made his iorney". This dramatic incident is more 
fully and vividly related by Father Gerard : " In order 
the better to satisfy God and his parishioners, before 
quitting a place he had held so many years unjustly, 


he brought them all together to speak to them. He 
began by showing great sorrow, and begging their 
pardons for having been so long not only a blind 
guide, but one who had led them into pitfalls and 
noxious errors. Then he declared that there was no 
hope of salvation outside the Roman Church. Hav- 
ing uttered these words he came down from the pul- 
pit, threw off his gown (being otherwise booted and 
girt for the journey), and with another younger 
brother whom he had brought up in his house, 
mounted their horses, which a trusty servant had 
ready outside the churchyard, and rode to London, 
whence they immediately crossed to Belgium, to 
study at the English College." 

The younger brother here mentioned was Abraham, 
as we learn from the passage in the Douay Diary 
already quoted. The Diary gives the following dates 
of their progress through the course : 24 March, 1577, 
the day after their arrival, they were received into 
the Church : '' Deinceps non in haereticorum sta- 
tionibus, sed in S. matris suae Ecclesiae castris usque 
ad vitae finem militare, per Dei gratiam proposuerunt. 
24 Martii ad nostra communia sunt admissi." On 19 
September of the same year they both went to Cam- 
bray to receive the subdiaconate. In December they 
received the diaconate. On 24 February, 1578, it is 
recorded that they returned from Cambray after their 
ordination to the priesthood, less than a year after 
they had entered the college. 

On 7 March they said their first Masses, and on 19 
March they started back to England. Thus far the 
Douay Diary, Their brother William, who had pre- 


ceded them to Douay, and had a brilliant career, 
was ordained on 6 April of the same year, 1578, and 
sent on the mission, where he became tutor to John 
Gerard, who writes in his autobiography : " As for 
Greek we were at the same time placed under the 
tuition of a good and pious priest, William Sutton 
by name, to whom this occupation served as an oc- 
casion for dwelling in our house unmolested. He 
afterwards entered the Society (1582), and was 
drowned on the coast of Spain (at Alicant, 1590), 
whither superiors had called him." 

Of Robert's ministry very few details are preserved. 
We know from Father Grene that both he and his 
brother Abraham were arrested, imprisoned and ban- 
ished together in 1585. And Father Gerard says he 
knew Robert in England ** labouring strenuously and 
holily in the Lord's vineyard," and he adds that Robert 
was finally apprehended ** in the house of a CathoHc 
relative of mine, with whom he had spent no short 
time in the chief town of that county ". From which 
we conclude that Stafford was the place of his ministry 
as well as of his martyrdom. But Father Gerard 
was wrong probably in saying that he was taken " in 
the house " of a relative of his ; for the Stonyhurst 
MS. (Acts of English Martyrs, p. 323) says : " Robert 
Sutton, priest, martyred at Stafford, being taken as 
he visited the gentlemen prisoners, John Wolsey, 
Esq., William Maxfield Esquire, Edward Sprat, 
Francis Thornbery and his elder brother, gentle- 
men, condemned for that they received Mr. Sutton 
into the prison ". 

Father Grene (Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers^ 


Series iii. p. 8) adds that these gentlemen were con- 
demned " because Mr. Sutton, a priest, and they were 
together in a chamber and the door shut ". 

A confirmation and the addition of an important 
detail are given by the diary of Thomas Worswick, 
who, against the date 1587, says: 'VThis year Mr. 
Bailiff took a seminary priest called Sutton saying of 
Mass in the town (Stafford), and there was taken 
with him Erasmus Worsley, Esq., Wm. Maccles- 
field, Esq., Anthony Compton, Gent., Wm. Mynoures, 
one Mr. Sprott, and two other called Thornbury, 
who were all arraigned at the next assizes and con- 
demned of treason ". It may be mentioned here that 
the lay gentlemen were not executed. 

Robert was brought first before the Sheriff, Sir 
Walter Aston, whose treatment of the prisoner was 
extremely harsh. Father Grene tells us : " He writ 
his examination as pleased himself, and when he read 
it to the said Mr. Robert, he utterly denied it to be 
his confession. Then he (Sir Walter) struck him 
with his staff to the ground, and committed him to 
the gaol, where he stayed but a while, for the assizes 
were at hand, when he was arraigned." 

Both during his imprisonment and at his trial the 
martyr gave evidence of the excellence of his educa- 
tion at Oxford and Douay, and of that enthusiastic 
loyalty to the Catholic Faith, to which he had given 
such spirited testimony on his departure from Lutter- 
worth. Worswick's Diary says : " The priest was a 
very Reverend learned man, and at his arraignment 
disputed very stoutly and learnedly ". Father Grene 
adds : " Bishop Overton came hither and disputed 



with him of many things, but of what matter I can- 
not learn, but in the end, by every man's saying, he 
put the Bishop to silence. He was condemned. 
Many lamented that so learned a man, as indeed he 
was, should suffer." Of the charge of which he was 
convicted Father Gerard says : " When in the course 
of the year, the judges came there according to custom, 
he was arraigned, convicted, and condemned as guilty 
of high treason, for having, as a priest of the Roman 
Church, presumed to come to England contrary to 
the laws, etc." This makes it as plain as we could 
desire that he was a martyr for the Faith and the 
supremacy of the Pope. 

There is considerable evidence for the behef that 
the night before he suffered the martyr was favoured 
with supernatural comfort. The Catalogue of Martyrs 
preserved at Stonyhurst, written in an illiterate hand, 
speaks of this event thus : ** Of this man it is con- 
stantly reported that he was seen by his keepers to 
praie in the midst of a light, within the prison, the 
night before he suffered ". Father Grene gives further 
details : " He had some conflicts, and them very 
great, as I am certified, with thinking of death, but 
truly the prisoners there do assure themselves he had 
some special comfort in prison the night before he 
suffered, for in the morning, being ready to go to- 
wards execution, he turned him towards his fellow- 
prisoners, giving them his blessing, then said these 
words : * God comfort you all, for I am comforted,' 
and so went most cheerfully and boldly towards his 
end". Father Gerard is still more explicit : " In the 
night preceding his passion he was heard by some 


Catholic prisoners in conversation with others ; but 
they, knowing that he was in strict solitary confine- 
ment, and fearing lest some^attempt might be made 
against him secretly, descended to the door of his 
cell and found it securely shut, but looking through 
a window, they saw him enveloped in light and pray- 
ing. Next morning the Catholics waited at the door 
of the prison to see the Martyr go forth, and to com- 
mend themselves to his prayers ; on seeing them the 
good Father commended himself to theirs, that God 
would be pleased to grant him constancy and per- 
severance to the end, * from Whom,' he said, ' I have 
this night received greater consolation than I de- 
served *." 

Father Gerard's account of the actual martyrdom 
is very summary : " He was drawn, as usual, to the 
place of execution, and hanged. When he was half 
dead, the rope was cut, and he fell to the ground. 
His head was cut off, his body divided into four parts 
to be hung up in various places." But in estimating 
the value of this piece of evidence it has to be borne 
in mind that the whole of Father Gerard's account 
is designed to lead up to the description and history 
of a most precious relic of the martyr, given to him 
by Father Abraham Sutton; and' in his narrative of 
the execution he is evidently hurrying along to the 
story of this relic. There would seem then to be no 
reason for surprise that he should not mention the 
following facts supplied by Worswick and Father 
Grene. The Diary, which we here reproduce as in 
the original, says : ** He onely was executed that was 
hanged and quartered. And it was done in a most 

20 * 


villainous Butcherley manner by one Moseley, who 
with his axe cutt of his head (while he had yet 
sence, and was readye to stand upp) through his 
mouth." This seems to mean that the blow fell 
upon the martyr's mouth instead of the neck. This 
very horrible detail quite tallies with Father Gerard's 
summary account, and the remark that the martyr 
was cut down while he still had sense and was ready 
to stand up prepares us to accept the interesting de- 
tails added by Father Grene : " When he came to 
the place he desired he might speak, but they would 
not permit him. Then he took his handkerchief out of 
his pocket, lapped it together, made a fine discourse 
of the candle we receive in baptism and in the hour 
of death, and in remembrance of what he said, he 
held up the handkerchief in token he lived and died 
in the light of the Catholic Faith. He was put off 
the ladder and cut down very lively, for he stood 
upon his feet, was taken by great violence, dis- 
membered, spoke these words, * O ! thou bloody 
butcher ! God forgive thee ! ' So calling upon Jesus 
and Mary, he was martyred. This happened in the 
year of our Lord 1588, July 27." The Douay Diary 
gives the date of the martyrdom as 1587 (p. 290), and 
Bishop Challoner accepted this as the correct date. 
The Stonyhurst MS., however, gives 1588. It is be- 
lieved that he suffered at a spot called Gallows' Flat, 
in the parish of Castlechurch, near Silkmoor, on the 
estate of Lord Stafford. 

God Who is wonderful in His saints even during 
their earthly life manifests His glory still more after 
their death by the honour rendered by the faithful to 


their relics, and by the power of the martyrs' inter- 
cession. This disposition of Divine Providence is 
illustrated in a remarkable manner in the case of 
this martyr. Father Gerard has preserved for us 
not only a most precious relic, but also two valuable 
descriptions of the circumstances of its preservation. 
The first occurs in his autobiography : "At this time 
I had given me some very fine relics, which my 
friends set for me very richly. . . . The third con- 
tains the forefinger of the martyr, Father Robert 
Sutton, brother of him whom I mentioned in the 
first chapter (i.e. William). By a wonderful provi- 
dence of God, this finger, along with the thumb, was 
kept from decay, though the whole arm had been 
set up to be eaten by the birds of heaven. It was 
taken away secretly by the Catholics after it had 
been there a year, and was found quite bare. The 
only parts that were covered with skin and flesh 
were the thumb and finger, which had been anointed 
at his ordination with the holy oil, and made still 
more holy by the touch of the Blessed Sacrament. 
So his brother, another pious priest (i.e. Abraham) 
kept the thumb himself and gave the finger to me." 
In the note-book which Father Grene copied. Father 
Gerard speaks more fully of this relic : " After the 
lapse of a whole year, the Catholics, wishing to have 
some relics from the holy body of the martyr, carried 
off one night by a pious theft a shoulder and arm. 
All the flesh was consumed, torn, and eaten by the 
birds, except the thumb and forefinger, which were 
found whole and uninjured, and clothed with flesh ; 
so that on these, which had been anointed with holy 


oil and sanctified by contact with the most holy body 
of Christ, a special honour above the other fingers 
was conferred, even in this world, before the day of 
the Resurrection, when the whole body will shine 
like the sun in the sight of the Father. 

" His brother, Mr. Abraham Sutton (whom Robert 
had left at Douay), and who is now also a priest, 
showed me both these fingers, thus wonderfully pre- 
served, and gave me the forefinger. I have kept it 
deposited in a silver and glass reliquary with great 
reverence, with a paper on which the above account 
is briefly set down. Our Fathers in England have 
the reliquary with its sacred treasure, unless, per- 
chance, by the iniquity of the times, it have been 
made the spoil of the heretics." 

Fortunately the fears of Father Gerard have proved 
unfounded, for there is among the treasures of Stony- 
hurst a small gilt upright cylindrical reliquary, of 
sixteenth century work, and doubtless the same which 
Father Gerard had made, and in it the relic with 
which is enclosed a paper in Father Gerard's hand- 
writing, older than the account we have just quoted, 
and giving the brief account to which he referred: 
" Pollex Dni. Roberti Suttoni Sacerdotis, qui Staf- 
fordiae vinctus, nocte ante passionem in carcere 
magna luce circumfusus orare visus est. Partes 
autem corporis, postquam volatilibus coeli per annum 
expositae fuissent, a Catholicis sublatae, hoc pollice 
et indice intactis, coeteris ad ossa usque consumptis, 
inventae sunt." Father Gerard in later years made 
the mistake of supposing it was the forefinger instead 
of the thumb. 


By a curious chance, another relic of the martyr 
has come to light in our own time. Sutton Place, in 
the parish of Woking, four miles from Guildford, was 
the residence of a Catholic family named Weston 
(Francis Weston, gentleman of the privy chamber 
of Henry VIII, was involved in the fate of Anne 
Boleyn and beheaded on Tower Hill). The family 
became extinct in 1782. In 1850 there was found 
hidden in the old chapel of the house behind the 
sanctuary a box of relics, which for some' years re- 
mained in private hands, and was then given to the 
Rev. A. Hinsley, D.D., who in the presence of Abbot 
Gasquet opened the box. Therein they found a por- 
tion of the skull of St. William of York, a part of the 
skull of Blessed Cuthbert Mayne, and a rib bone 
about 12 inches long with a label attached to it with 
the inscription, " R. Sutton, Staffordiae ". This in- 
scription was declared by Abbot Gasquet to be in 
sixteenth or seventeenth century writing. The relic 
remains in the sacristy of St. Edmund's Church, 
Sutton Park. 

F. E. R. 

Authorities. — (i) Father Grene's MS. Book, Col. F, Foley's 
Records, vol. iii. p. 231SS. Father Christopher Grene, S.J., was 
bom in 1629, educated at Li^ge and the English College, Rome, 
ordained priest in 1653, and sent on the English mission the 
following year. In 1658 he entered the Society and lived chiefly 
in Italy. From 1692 till his death in 1697 he was Confessor at the 
English College. He was devoted to the cause of transcribing 
records of the Martyrs, arfd he has thus done more than any other 
man to save the records of their sufferings from perishing, and to 
transmit to posterity materials for the history of the times of perse- 


cution in England. Also Col. E (at Oscott) published in Troubles 
of Our Catholic Forefathers^ Series iii., Father Morris, S J. (2) 
In the Life of Father John Gerard., SJ., an autobiography, there 
are several references to our martyr. Moreover, there is an 
important account in his handwriting in a note-book copied out 
and annotated by Father Grene at the English College in 1689, 
and published by Father Pollen in Acts of the English Martyrs^ 
p. 323. " Father John Gerard, ahas Tomson, wrote the above 
A.D. 1630, the 27th April. The above is from the autograph." — 
Note by Father Grene. (3) The MS. Diary of Thomas Wors- 
wick, No. 369, in the Salt Library at Stafford gives some interest- 
ing particulars of the arrest and martyrdom. (4) A Topographical 
and Historical Description of the Parish of Tixall in the County 
of Stafford., by Sir Thomas Clifford, gives the history of the 
Astons. (5) Catalogue of the Martyrs., Stonyhurst MS., Catholic 
Records., vol. v. p. 291. (6) Acts of English Martyrs., p. 323. 
Stonyhurst MS. Varia. (7) Douay Diaries. 



York, 9 September, 1587. 

This martyr's name is found in Wilson's Catalogue, 
the appendix to his English Martyrologe, published 
at St. Omer's in 1608, and is included in nearly all 
subsequent lists of the martyrs. What is known 
for certain concerning him is found in the Collectanea 
of Father Christopher Grene, S.J., who tells that he 
suffered at York on g September, 1587. The sub- 
stance of what Father Grene had ascertained is as 

At Ripon George Douglas fell into a discussion in 
which he asserted that the offspring of priests are 
illegitimate, and denied that the State bishops were 
real bishops. For this he was denounced, examined 
and imprisoned for about the space of a year. He 
was put in the stocks and then kept in irons in a 
dark dungeon. After a time the Justice who was 
warden of the prison showed him mercy, and while 
detaining him in free custody allowed him his liberty 
and made him tutor to his sons. He now communi- 
cated with the schismatics, even to the extent of 



attending the State church : this may possibly furnish 
the explanation of his keeper's benignity. But he 
evidently did not go to the length required by those 
in power, since at the end of a year he was removed 
to York Castle where he was put in the Low House 
among the felons. There he suffered much, and in 
consequence of the foulness of the place contracted 
a fever. But his body's infirmity proved his soul's 
strength, and he repented of his former unfaithfulness, 
and after a time was reconciled to the Church. After 
he had been about a year in the Castle he was brought 
before the Judges on the charge of the " seditious " and 
" treasonable " words he had uttered two years before. 
" Being examined whether he acknowledged the 
Queen to be Supreme Head of the Anglican Church, 
he most freely denied it, and proved his point with 
such authorities and arguments, that for that cause 
alone he was convicted of high treason." He was 
taken back to prison and there remained '* a long 
time, in which space he twice offered to make an ex- 
hortation to the prisoners, and began very orderly 
and learnedly to preach and open the Catholic faith 
unto them for their souls' health. But Mr. Mevarell 
[the jailer] hearing him, commanded him in the 
Queen's Majesty's name to stay. He not regarding 
his words, proceeded until the gaoler caused him to be 
thrust down into the Low House, and gave the 
prisoners charge not to hear him any more." 

He proved a redoubtable antagonist to the ministers 
and preachers who were sent to him and the other 
prisoners, and so manifestly got the better of them 
that they retired in confusion. It was thought that 


on this account the time of his death was hastened. 
*' Being brought to the place of execution the under 
sherriff, then Mr. Snell, caused him to put off all his 
clothes at the stage foot to his shirt, and willed the 
topman to go up, and gave him a great knife, saying, 
' Cut the rope with this when I shall bid thee '. A 
gentleman standing by, beholding Mr. Douglas, said 
' Fie, Mr. Sheriff, it is a shame to see a man stand 
so naked,' — for his shirt was very short — * it is against 
humanity. He is a man, as we are, and therefore 
what need of this ? ' * Tush,' quoth the sheriff, ' it 
shall be so.' Then he willed him to go up the ladder, 
which meekly he did, for he was so obedient and 
tractable that he did everything he was commanded. 
Commending himself unto God, he was cast off the 
ladder, and the sheriff commanded to cut the rope. 
The topman not being hasty, one of the bailiffs with 
his halbert burst the rope asunder, and the martyr 
fell on his back, and quickly sat up. Then came two 
butcherly slaves, the one took hold of his feet, and 
the other of the rope, and so strangling him, and 
trailing him to the fire, ripped him. He offered to 
put his hand to the place, and to rise up, but was 
held down for all his struggling. His tongue was 
heard to go. Thus cruelly this holy martyr died, 
and was executed for the profession of the Catholic 
faith, September 9, 1587." He is described as "a 
learned man, sharp in speech ; a stout champion, 
who handled Catholic controversy with much force. 
Marvellous stout, and zealous to suffer anything for 
Christ's sake." 

Thus far Father Grene, who also tells us that Sir 


George Douglas was '* ' an old ' priest, a Scotchman 
born, and one (as I have heard) that went over the 
sea with Dr. Harding " and was " a student with him 
and other divers years ". 

There are also at the Record Office two examina- 
tions of George Douglas, priest and Scotsman, to 
which Father Pollen has called attention. The one 
was taken at Baggrave, eight and a half miles from 
Leicester on 5 January, 1570-1, the other at Wing in 
Rutland on 13 August, 1584. Both are evidently con- 
cerned with the same person, whom Father Pollen 
considers to be most probably identical with our 
martyr. It will be useful first to set out the informa- 
tion we obtain from these examinations, and then to 
add some remarks upon the question of identity of 
the examinate with the martyr. 

George Douglas was of the house of Douglas of 
Bongedward now Bonjedburgh, of which family the 
Earl of Angus was the head. He was born in Edin- 
burgh somewhere about 1540, his father John 
Douglas being a burgess of that city. Archibald 
Douglas, "the Parson of Glasgow," was his kins- 
man and coeval ; they were companions as scholars 
under John Douglas, sometime Archbishop of St. 

From the earlier examination we learn that George 

1 1 John Douglas, an ex-Carmelite friar who was Chaplain to the 
Earl of Argyll in 1558, was "inaugurated" Archbishop of St. 
Andrews, 10 February, 1572, and died 31 July, 1574. He was 
a " tulchan bishop " (i.e. only nominally a bishop) and was the 
first Protestant to occupy that see {vtWe Gordon's Scotichronicon^ 
pp. 814-821). 


Douglas ''was sometime a 'graye Freer' in Edin- 
borough ".^ About the year 1556 he betook himself 
to France where he tarried six years, and was main- 
tained upon the exhibition (or pension) of ttie Queen 
of Scots as long as he tarried there. He was mean- 
time made priest at Notre Dame '' by the testimonial 
of the Queen of Scots ". 

** When the wars [of religion] began he came to 
Scotland [about 1562 or 1563], and there he tarried 
one year, and then came to England, by the Earl of 
Bedford's passport." Here he became a ''school- 
master," as the phrase then went, that is he lived in 
a family and taught the sons. In this way he lived 
five years with Mr. Hunt at North Luffenham, in 
Rutlandshire, teaching his sons and those of Mr. 
Dasset, and Mr. Wymark (about 1564 to 1569). 
Then he went " to Mr. John Fletcher dwelling at 
Stoke in Nottinghamshire and there continued for 
one year and taught children, and thence to Quern- 
don to Mr. Bartholomew Wollock, and there con- 
tinued half a year". His subjects, we learn, were 
Latin, Philosophy and Arithmetic. After this, he 
" kept a school " at Prestwold in Leicestershire, at 
which place he was arrested. 

The occasion of this was a visit from Mr. Thomas 
Seton, who passing by Loughborough, in the company 
of a Frenchman, told his fellow Scot that it would 
gladden the Queen, his mistress, if he would write to 
her, " that she might know that he was in England ". 

^ Is not this an error for " white friar," his tutor having been 
a Carmelite ? For the Friars Observant, vide W. Moir Bryce, 
T/ie Scottish Grey Friars^ Edinburgh, 1909, 262-286. 


This he did, and his Latin letter, which is not 
signed, is still preserved. The letter is little more 
than an expression of his gratitude to Mary *' because 
you nourished me in the bountiful academy of Paris," 
and of sympathetic consolation in her trials, '* with 
the assistance of the divine grace, your sorrow will 
be turned into joy ". But the letter was seized and 
brought to Francis Cave, a Justice, in whose judg- 
ment its writer " seemeth to myselyke the usage of 
the quene's majestic towardes the quene of Scottes, 
& also of our relligion used here in Inglond con- 
trary to the honour of the quene's majestic & the 
laws of her realm ". He accordingly examined 
Douglas, and sent the examination with the letter 
up to London to the Earl of Huntingdon, Lord 
Lieutenant of Leicestershire, with the suggestion 
that if he " confer with Mr. Secretary or some other 
of the Council, & peruse his letters, I think you will 
find that he deserves punishment ". Meanwhile 
Cave detained Douglas in the jail. 

What course events took we do not know, but 
thirteen years later (August, 1584), Douglas was 
again arrested (at Glaston in Rutland), examined 
and the examination sent up to London. This time 
'* being demanded whether he were Priest or no, he 
answered that sithence his going out of Rutland 
about ten years past [i.e. circa 1574] he was made 
Priest at Parys at Notredames Church ". 

About three months later he betook himself into 
Flanders, and resuming his occupation, kept school in 
divers places there, reading philosophy and arith- 
metic. In the summer of 1584 he designed to return to 


his own country and set sail in July from Antwerp to 
Flushing. He was prevented making the direct cross- 
ing from Flushing through fear of the Spaniards lying 
off Gravelines and Dunkirk, and compelled to make 
for Calais. On that voyage he was robbed by pirates 
who overhauled the ship. The same night that he 
reached Calais he sailed for Dover, where he obtained 
from the Mayor a passport to go into Scotland either 
by land or sea. Choosing the overland route, he came 
to Gravesend, where Gilbert Ruyle, a fellow country- 
man, gave him a doublet to repair his loss. But 
during the night a boy who shared his chamber 
went off with the doublet and in it the passport which 
the Mayor of Dover had given him. His anxiety 
now was to secure another passport, and with this 
intent, to secure some one to warrant him, he came 
to London and strove to persuade Mr. Monkaster, a 
schoolmaster, to pretend he was his usher and so ob- 
tain him a passport, but without success. Thence 
he travelled to Oxford and tried one Dr. Humphrey, 
and also sent a Scot named Sadler living in that city 
to the Vice-Chancellor, but both schemes proved un- 
availing. From Oxford he came by Northampton 
into Rutland where he hoped that some of his former 
acquaintance would come to his aid. He was stopped 
at Glaston, and because he had no passport, and no 
papers were found upon him, he was examined at 
Wing by the High Sheriff and four Justices on 13 
August, and detained until Walsingham's pleasure 
concerning him should be known. His request was 
that he might receive a passport. He admitted his 
priesthood, but there was nothing to show that he 


had exercised it in England and he was making for 
Scotland. As to what course events now took we 
have no information. 

We must now consider the question whether this 
George Douglas was the martyr. 

In favour of that identification must be alleged in 
the first place the name. This by itself would prove 
little since the surname is that of one of the Scottish 
clans, many members of which doubtless had the 
Christian name George. But taken in conjunction 
with the fact that there is identity of profession, each 
being described as a schoolmaster or tutor, and that 
each is a priest, the probability that they are the 
same individual becomes more marked. The time 
also admits of this inference. George Douglas has 
come from the Low Countries, landed at Dover, 
and is making his way towards Scotland. He is 
arrested at Glaston in Rutland in August, 1584. At 
his examination the Justices are clearly well disposed 
towards him, as one already honourably known to 
them. He probably obtained his release after a time, 
and pursued his journey. The Venerable George 
Douglas is taken in the neighbourhood of Ripon in 
Yorkshire in the early summer of 1585. These points 
of contact appear sufficiently close to warrant -our 
attempting some explanation of the divergencies, and 
identifying the examinate George Douglas as the 
Venerable George Douglas, priest and martyr. 

The chief difficulty is contained in the fact that 
Father Grene had heard that Venerable George 
Douglas " went over the sea with Dr. Harding and 
was a student with him and others divers years". 


Now Dr. Harding was deprived of the office of 
treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral at the very begin- 
ning of Elizabeth's reign, and his successor installed 
in January, 1559. He then retired to Louvain, where 
he died in 1572. It is possible that he was in 
England for a short time in 1568, but this is doubt- 
ful. On the other hand, from his confessions it 
appears that George Douglas was in France during 
the years 1556-62, and was acting as a tutor in 
England in the years 1564-71, during which years the 
Justices also bear testimony to his presence in their 
midst. That Father Grene may himself have been 
doubtful of the martyr's association with Dr. Hard- 
ing is a possible inference from his insertion of the 
words *' as I have heard " in its regard. 

The other difficulties do not directly affect the 
identification, but serve to make us cautious in ac- 
cepting those portions of the examinations which 
are uncorroborated. A comparison of the two ex- 
aminations shows that the time of his ordination (i.e. 
not before 1574) given in the second cannot be 
accurate, as he had in 1571 acknowledged that he 
had been made priest in Paris between 1556 and 
1562. But herein we have a point of contact with 
information furnished by Father Grene, that Vener- 
able George Douglas was an "old priest". This 
term, an " old priest," seems to have for him a definite 
and technical meaning, viz., one that was made priest 
under the old regime, before the founding of the 
seminaries in foreign parts. The priests of whom 
record is made in Collectanea F are either " old priest " 
or. ** seminary priest," and in one case, that of Sir 



Richard Bowes, an " old priest " is stated to have 
been one of the Marian clergy. If George Douglas 
was ordained between 1556 and 1562 he may well 
have been considered by Father Grene an " old " 

Exception may also be possibly taken to the various 
" canny " ruses adopted by this examinate in order to 
secure a passport, and as far as transpires from the 
examination the sole object of Douglas was to return 
into Scotland. There is no suggestion of any mis- 
sionary endeavour on his part ; we hear of his priest- 
hood only incidentally. 

On the other hand, the fact of his connexion with 
John Douglas the ''tulchan " Archbishop would give 
particular point to that " denying the false bishops 
to be really bishops " which Father Grene has re- 

J. L. W. 

Authorities.— Father Grene's Collectanea E {Oscott MSS.), 
published by Pollen, A.E.M. 2,'2.7 ; Collectanea F^ published by 
Foley, Records SJ. iii. 72>?>'i Examinations of George Douglas 
in P.R.O., published by Boyd, Scottish Calendar {i()0'^\ iii. 461 ; 
and by Pollen, C.R.S. v. 88 ; Challoner. 




York, 30 November, 1587. 

Alexander Crow was born of humble parents at 
South Duffield or Golden in Yorkshire ^ about the 
year 1551. For some years he worked as a shoe- 
maker in York, until an opportunity was afforded 
him of following his trade in the College at Rheims 
in 1581. He arrived at the College on 30 April, and 
was found a thorough and willing servant, who won 
the esteem of all. Dr. Humphrey Ely in his Certain 
Briefe Notes says of him : '* How say you to one (whom 
since I have heard to be martyred) that was first a 
cobbler, then a porter, after that under-cook in the 
Seminary, and at last by his extreme diligence got 
as much learning as was sufficient for a priest and 
finally such favour at God's hands to be a martyr? " 
Divine grace, working through the spirit of the Col- 
lege, led him to desire to work for the salvation of 
his country in the priestly state, and, as he had 

^ This statement is made on the authority of Eleanor Ellison, 
widow, " who knew the martyr ". It is found in the MS. collec- 
tions formed by Challoner for his book and now at Oscott. 

323 21 * 


proved himself earnest, patient and humble he was 
permitted to begin his studies. His zeal bore fruit 
and his good purpose persisting, he received the sub- 
diaconate at Laon on the Vigil of Pentecost, i8 May, 
1583, and was ordained priest in the same city on 
Ember Saturday, 21 December following. He was 
sent to the mission on 27 February, 1584, and went 
to his native county. There he laboured strenuously 
in gathering together the sheep of Christ that had 
been scattered in those difficult times, to the great 
edification of all that knew him. For eighteen months 
he was able to escape the vigilance of his enemies, 
and then, in the midst of his labours, he fell into 
their hands. He was taken at South DufBeld (Drif- 
field) whither he had come to baptize the child of one 
Cecily Garnet, and was imprisoned in York Castle, 
where he was kept in double fetters amongst the 
felons, and suffered much ill-treatment. At the 
November assizes he was arraigned. The Judges 
mocked and contemned him, and strove by lies and 
slanders to deprive him of the esteem of the people 
and make him odious to them. They railed at him, 
as was customary, and were particularly moved to 
wrath by observing that he had had his tonsure freshly 
shaved for the trial, and on this point their anger 
was extended to his jailer also. He was condemned 
as guilty of treason because of his priesthood and 
sentenced to the usual penalties : " whereupon he 
began to be exceedingly comforted and to show so 
great a joy in the very court, that all present took 
notice of it : and returning to the prison (where he 
was lodged with another Catholic) he could not con- 


tain himself all that day so great was the satisfaction 
he conceived at the thought that he was to die the 
next morning. When night came and the hour 
for going to bed he told the other Catholic to take 
his rest, But I (said he) for this one night which 
remains to me of life, am willing to watch in prayer 
with Christ our Saviour. And when the other Catho- 
lic insisted that either the father should come to bed 
also, or should admit him to bear him company in 
his watching, he would not consent but bid him go 
to bed, and leave him alone. The Catholic then 
went to bed and the father lighted a taper that was 
there, and setting it upon a stool, began to enter 
upon a very quiet prayer as his companion took 
notice, who remained awake to see what passed. 
After an hour of silent prayer, the father began to 
speak (as if he was holding a colloquy of words with 
our Saviour) and by little and little to come into a 
heat so that his voice became changed like a man 
that is disturbed. At length, getting up he went to 
the bed on which his companion lay, and touching 
him with his hand, asked him if he were asleep ; and 
his companion answered. No. The Priest begged 
that he would recommend him to the best of his 
power to our Lord, for he had sore need. Then he 
returned to his place and began in the same manner 
to be troubled as before, giving signs in his exterior, 
of being in great anguish, and out of himself, till he 
put out with his own hand (like a man in anger) the 
taper which was burning by him : with all this his 
trouble did not cease, but he still continued, as it 
were, in conflict and agony, sometimes speaking low 


and begging succour from our Lord and the saints ; 
at other times raising his voice as one angry and 
enraged ; and this lasted for the space of half an hour 
after the quenching of the light ; and the poor gentle- 
man in bed was not a little terrified at seeing and 
hearing what passed, and persevered in prayer, beg- 
ging our Lord, in the best way he was able, to deliver 
him from this affliction, for he plainly perceived that 
he was in a conflict. 

'' At length he saw him coming towards the bed, 
and reciting with much joy the Psalm Laudate 
Dominum de coelis, etc. ; * Praise ye the Lord in the 
heavens etc.,' and continuing it to the end as one 
inebriated with an abundance of consolations, he 
broke out into other praises of our Lord God admir- 
ing his unspeakable mercies and his divine sweetness 
to the children of men. He set himself down on the 
bed by his companion, since for many days he could 
not lift his feet from the ground for the great weight 
of the bolts and chains and remained as one asleep 
for the space of a quarter of an hour. Then at length 
he broke out again into the praises of God, and asked 
his companion if he had not been frightened. The 
gentleman answered, Yes ; and asked him the cause 
of that great noise, and of those changes which he 
had displayed that night. The priest replied that 
though as to his own part it would signify little to 
relate it ; yet, as it might be of some comfort to the 
Catholics to know what had passed, he would tell 
him the whole matter. 

" After a while, said he, that I had been in quiet 
prayer, my flesh began to creep upon me, and my hair 


to stand on end, and I perceived myself quite changed, 
and on a sudden I saw before my eyes a most ugly 
monster which began to terrify me, and when I least 
looked for it assaulted me with these words : Thou 
thinkest to-morrow to be a martyr and to go straight to 
heaven, but I assure thee it will not be so, for I know 
thou art condemned to hell, and the sentence is passed 
against thee in God's tribunal, which cannot be re- 
called. And to-morrow though thou shalt be drawn 
to the gallows, thou shalt not be executed, but they 
will keep thee two years longer in prison with these 
bolts and chains which thou hast on, and will give 
thee only two morsels of black bread and a little 
water every day, and thou shalt be abhorred by all, 
and shalt lead the most miserable life that ever man 
led upon earth ; therefore that thou mayest be de- 
livered from so great sufferings it will be better for 
thee at present to put an end to thy life by a knife or 
a halter, and not to wait for to-morrow. And though 
I shook him off, said the Father, many times, answer- 
ing what God put in my mind, he never left off im- 
portuning me, and whatever way I turned my eyes, 
he placed himself always before me, giving me in- 
tolerable trouble with his horrid figure. And when I 
extinguished the light, it was that I might no longer 
see so frightful a sight, but he still continued terrify- 
ing and molesting me very much, and the conflict 
went on still increasing, till our merciful Lord, taking 
pity on my weakness, sent me succour from heaven. 
And this was, that at the time when I found myself 
in the greatest straits, I saw a great light come in at 
the door with two persons, who, as I believe, were 


our Lady and St. John the Evangelist, who by their 
presence gave me unspeakable comfort ; and then the 
monster that had troubled me began to draw back 
and tremble. And one of them said to him, Begone 
from hence, thou cursed creature, thou hast no part 
in this servant of Christ who will shed his blood to- 
morrow for his Lord, and will enter into His joy. 
Immediately the monster disappeared, and they like- 
wise, leaving me so full of consolation that I cannot 
express it. Upon this I came with great joy of 
heart and canticles of praise in my mouth and sat 
down here m the manner that you saw, not being 
sensible whether I was on the ground or in bed, in 
heaven or on earth. This one thing I beg of you for 
Christ's sake, that you do not speak one word of this 
to any one till you see my race finished, and till I am 
delivered of the burden of the flesh. Having said 
this, they both glorified God, and so continued till 
the morning, discoursing together with great satis- 
faction of heavenly things. 

" But the impudent enemy was not content with 
having failed in this first attempt, but returned 
again to persecute this soldier of Christ, who 
being now upon the ladder at the gallows in pro- 
found prayer, before the hangman had put the rope 
about his neck, the devil, envying the happiness 
with which God rewarded this servant, and the 
consolation that He gave him in prayer, flung 
him down off the ladder. But yet he received no 
manner of hurt though the fall was very high and 
with great violence, as it appeared to the bystanders. 
This gave occasion to the heretics that were there to 


cry out that the Papist was in despair and that he 
wanted to kill himself. But the Father mounted the 
ladder again and told them with great serenity of 
countenance and of heart, smiling, It is not as you 
think, my brethren, that I had a mind to kill myself, 
but it was the enemy who wanted to rob me of this 
glorious death, out of envy flung me off the ladder, 
and this is not the first time he has sought to deprive 
me of the crown which God gives me, who has per- 
mitted him to do what he has done in your presence 
that you might know how little he is able to do : 
for howmuch soever he has sought it, he has not been 
able to do me any hurt either in soul or body, neither 
can he do any hurt to the servants of God more than 
their Lord is pleased to permit for their greater good. 
And upon this occasion speaking more at large and 
with greater liberty to the people, he delivered many 
things of edification, exhorting them to the Catholic 
Faith. And passing through the usual course of the 
ordinary butchery, he gloriously finished his career, 
and went to enjoy his God for ever." The day of 
his passion was 30 November, 1587. 

J. L. W. 

Authorities.— ^^//^^^ Warford, Collect. M, A.E.M. 270-1. 
Challoner quoting Champney and Yepez ; Douay Diaries; 
Morris, Troubles, iii. 92-4. 







Derby, 2d, July, 1588. 

Of the material at our disposal for the biographies 
of these three martyrs, that pertaining to Nicholas 
Garlick is by far the most abundant ; we may 
therefore make his life-story the framework of the 
following narratives. 

Nicholas Garlick's parents were evidently well-to- 
do people, for the father held the honourable and much- 
coveted post of Forester of the High Peak, as had 
his father and grandfather before him. His mother's 
maiden name has perished along with the Dinting 
Registers, but we are enabled to ascertain indirectly 
the date of the martyr's birth from the Registrum 
Oxoniense,^ as in or about 1555. This was towards 
the close of Queen Mary's reign, and consequently 

^ " Garlick Nicholas ; Derby, plebei filius, aet. 20," J^e^. Oxon. 
II. ii. 59^ lo January, 1574-5. See above, p. 203. 



the child's earliest recollections must have been 
bound up with the relentless war against all that 
was religious or Catholic. The boy went to school 
at Mellor, a few miles from his home at Dinting, 
where he received the first elements of his educa- 
tion. He seems to have been a clever lad, and 
soon outran the slender teaching-power of a little 
village school. But his love of learning and culture 
had attracted the attention of his pastor, who kindly 
put at the boy's disposal the few books which he 
possessed. His progress soon fitted him for Oxford, 
where he matriculated at Gloucester Hall, now Wor- 
cester College, on 10 January, 1574-5. The length 
of Garlick's stay at the University is unrecorded, it 
may have been only half a year. At any rate, he 
did not take his degree ; for quite apart from the 
absence of his name from the Registers, so staunch 
a Catholic would never have conformed to the de- 
mands of the now Protestant University. 

It must have been about this time that an incident 
occurred which brings out into bold relief the depth 
of the future martyr's attachment to the Faith, even 
to the loss of worldly goods. The family, we have 
said, though of yeoman stock, was in possession of 
considerable landed wealth,^ and Mr. Garlick, jealous 
of his heritage, preferred to throw aside his religion 
rather than forego it. However, at his son's earnest 
entreaty, a reconciliation was effected ; but it did 
not endure long, and the unhappy man soon drifted 

^ It would be easy to multiply references to donations by the 
Garlicks to various charities in this part of Derbyshire. See 
Recard of Public Charities^ vol. xvii. 


back into conformity. Again did Nicholas persuade 
him to rise, telling him with Spartan earnestness 
that he had prayed God to strike him lame to prevent 
his frequenting the Protestant assemblies. This really 
took place ; for when the execution of the laws 
against recusants became more stringent, the old 
man became so decrepit that he was unable to walk 
without assistance. He frequently asserted that his 
son had prayed too well.^ 

On his return from Oxford, though his stay had 
been but brief, Garlick was declared "well seen in 
poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy," and was immediately 
appointed to a mastership at the Free Grammar 
School of Tideswell in his native county. Father 
Grene, who relates this, says that he ''kept school," 
but, if this means that he was head master, we must 
suppose that he succeeded a certain John Cooke in 
this capacity, and that his name has not been re- 
corded. ^ The statutes also provided that the four 
lowest forms should be taught by the elder pupils, 
but we may suppose that one of Garlick's attain- 
ments would hardly have accepted such a post. We 
prefer to surmise that there is a lacuna in Mr. 
Fletcher's list at this point. 

As is well known, most of the grammar schools 
throughout the country were established to provide 
for the people an education of which they had been 
deprived by the wholesale destruction of monastic 

^ Stonyhurst MSS.^ Father Grene's Collectanea N^ ii. 44. 

^ Guide to Tideswell^ by J. M. J. Fletcher. The salary of the 
head master was £\o '^t.x annum {Report of Public Charities^ 
vol. xvii. p. 266). 


schools and seats of learning. That at Tideswell 
owed its foundation in 1560 to the famous Robert 
Pursglove. In 1538 he became Suffragan Bishop of 
Hull,^ and two years later was nominated Prior of 
Gisburne in Cleveland.^ But Pursglove was a friend 
of Thomas Cromwell, and by the latter's influence 
at court, on the suppression of the house in 1540, 
he was rewarded with a pension of ;f 200 a year. On 
this he lived in comparative peace during the two 
succeeding reigns. But in 1559 the Second Act of 
Supremacy was tendered to the clergy, and to his 
credit be it told, the Bishop chose to stand' deprived 
of his See with well-nigh the whole hierarchy, rather 
than renounce his spiritual allegiance. Previous to 
his deprivation Bishop Pursglove had obtained letters 
patent from Elizabeth (18 November, 1559) for the 
establishment of a Free Grammar School at Tides- 
well, which he dedicated, together with a similar 
foundation at Gisburne, to the ''Child Jesus ".^ It 
was here that Garlick on leaving Oxford at the age of 
twenty commenced his career as master, and for the 
greater part of six years worked under the im- 
mediate personal guidance of Robert Pursglove him- 
self. That worthy died in 1579. There is a romantic 
tradition connected with Garlick's abode at Tideswell 
which is told rather rhetorically by the author of The 
Old Nails of Derbyshire. 

^ Wright, Suppression of the Monasteries^ Camden Society, p. 

''See J. M. J. Fletcher, in Derbyshire Archeol. Soc, 19 10. 

^ Report of Public Charities^ supra^ for the text of the 


" But to him the appointment was more than life, 
and why? Years before as a boy, as he lay under 
the banks of the Etherow one lovely summer's after- 
noon, there passed by the retinue of Richard Stafford 
of Eylam, lord of Tideswell. The lad saw not the 
prancing steeds and gorgeous livery ; it was the 
exquisite face of a child who rode her horse so stately. 
That face he set up in his heart as a deity to bow 
down to, to worship ; and now as the schoolmaster of 
Tideswell, he was to have this one idea paramount 
to all others, — to be near her, where he could see her, 
to admire, to adore ! But the haughty descendant of 
Nigel de Stafford could never mate with the son of 
a yeoman. Gradually, when he became settled at 
Tideswell, and year followed year, all the bitterness 
of his hopeless affection came upon him, and one 
evening as he wandered through Monksdale,^ he 
entered the old oratory there, of which there were a 
few sitones remaining, and before the desecrated altars 
vowed to put aside the passions of his heart and devote 
himself wholely to the service of God." ^ That this 
vow was no passing whim of highly-strung emotions, 
the subsequent events of his life will clearly show. 

Meanwhile Garlick discharged for seven years his 
duties as master at Tideswell, " with great love, credit 
and no small profit to his scholars," ^ whom he re- 

^ This was an establishment belonging to the monks of 
Lenton, and was used by them for the collection of tithes for the 

2 T^e Old Halls of Derbyshire^ vol. i. p. 185. 

* Father Grene, and Dr. Bagshaw's MS. quoted by Challoner, 
;. p. III. 


garded as if they had been his own children. Of 
these Dr. Robert Bagshaw, O.S.B. (pb. 1633), Ven. 
Christopher Buxton (ob, 1588), and one other took 
Holy Orders at Rheims and elsewhere ; Buxton 
indeed was destined for a martyr's crown within a 
few months of the triumph of his young master. 

After Nicholas Garlick's vow amid the ruins of 
Monksdale oratory, he could not rest till he had 
fulfilled the desire of his heart. Friends there were 
who favoured his design ; and in June, 1581, he was 
safely across the Channel, and happy within the 
walls of the Seminary at Rheims.^ In little less 
than a year, 8 March, 1582, Garlick received Deacon's 
Orders at Laon, and a fortnight later was ordained 
priest at Rheims together with seven others, on the 
Saturday before LcBtare Sunday which that year fell 
on 18 March. After saying his first Mass on 6 April, 
he remained at the College till the January of the 
following year, when, in company with Mr. William 
Elton, who subsequently became a Jesuit, he set sail 
for England. 

And here it is difficult to chronicle in any detail 
the movements of Mr. Garlick. Secrecy was, of 
course, of the utmost importance ; and in fact it is 
to the Government spies that we are indebted for the 
scraps of information that it has been possible to 
gather. This much at any rate seems certain. He 
was known to be in England in February, 1583,^ a 
month after his landing. In the following year we 

^ The dates connected with the martyr's life abroad are from 
the Douay Diaries. 

^ P.R.O. Dom. Eliz. vol. i83,in. 37. 


hear of him in Stafiford at the house of a certain 
Waterton. The spy who supplies this piece of in- 
formation reports of GarHck as saying : ** I think that 
e'er long all things will be of the old order ; for the 
whole country here is Catholic and very desirous of 
priests ". He was soon captured, where and how 
we know not, and lodged in one of the London jails.^ 
It soon became evident that these were getting hope- 
lessly overcrowded, and all manner of bribery was 
resorted to, some even being offered bishoprics, if 
they would forswear their religion. All this having 
failed, the authorities made selections from the vari- 
ous London prisons of the recusants, who were to be 
shipped off to France. 

It is impossible to say in which ship it was that 
Mr. Garlick sailed ; here is the account of the journey 
of Father Jasper Haywood, S.J., and his companions, 
and there is some probability that he was among 
the number. After endless and vexatious delays the 
exiles were at last assembled on the Tower Wharf. 
Instead, however, of regarding their exile as a 
favour, they vehemently protested, in the person of 
Father Haywood, that they were innocent men who 
were being punished with exile, and that so far from 
consenting to leave the Catholics whom they were 
bound to serve, they would gladly give their life- 
blood for them ; they valued their country and their 
countrymen's souls above their own lives. This 

^ Historical students will not need to be warned against ac- 
cepting as history the charming romance which appeared in the 
Month for July, 191 1. The incident there imagined is supposed 
to have taken place at this point in the martyr's career. 


utterance was left unheeded, so too was their demand 
to see the Queen's warrant forjtheir expulsion, and 
the ship at length started down the Thames amid 
the salutations of many friends, who had been allowed 
to see them depart. They were bound for Boulogne, 
and after two days at sea they made a fresh demand 
to see the warrant for their transportation. This 
time it vvas granted them ; but what was their indig- 
nation when it was found to recite that, by their own 
and others' confessions, they had been proved guilty 
of seditions and conspiracies against the Queen and 
State, and furthermore that by her Majesty's supreme 
clemency the sentence had been commuted from 
death to exile ! So far from this being a true state- 
ment, many had not been put upon their trial, and 
one of them, Mr. John Collington, had been acquitted 
when tried with Edmund Campion. Father Hay- 
wood was again their spokesman, but of course the 
officers answered that they had nothing to do but to 
obey orders. These protests, says Father Morris,^ 
were necessary, lest it should be thought that they 
were of their own accord withdrawing from difficulty 
and danger. 

Naturally enough after landing on French soil Mr. 
Garlick turned his steps towards his Alma Mater at 
Rheims. He had some thoughts of going to Rome, 
but his doubts were soon overcome ; and two days 
after reaching the seminary, he again set out for 
England iOn 19 October, 1585, in company with Mr. 
John Harrison, who died within the year from the 

^ Morris, Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers^ Series ii. p. 70. 



ill-usage of prison life. Details are equally wanting 
for this second period of missionary work. The 
spies soon marked him down in Hants and Dorset. 
He is styled the " Demonite," ^ which seems to show 
that he was practising the dangerous part of exorcist. '^ 
Later he was found to be in London, and then once 
more back in Derbyshire. Here he placed himself 
under the protecting roof of the Fitzherberts of Padley 
Hall, in the High Peak Hundred. No less staunch 
than B. Thomas More had been to the religion of their 
ancestors, they were withal as loyal to their country. 
In spite of the penal exactions which drained his 
purse, and might have embittered his spirit, the old 
squire actually volunteered to supply double the con- 
tribution demanded of his estate on the approach of 
the Spanish Armada. With such a spirit ruling in 
the leading house in Hathersage, it is not surprising 
to find that the place remained a stronghold of 
Catholicity ; indeed there has been no time in which 
Mass has not been celebrated in some secret corner 
of that wild and scattered district. 

To-day little remains of Padley Hall except the 
chapel in which Mr. Garlick and one of his associates 
in martyrdom were found. The building, which is 
now used as a barn, contains few features that would 
attract the architect. For us, one of the two buttress- 
like chimneys has intense interest. It was Garlick's 
last hiding-place. On 29 January, 1587, George 
Talbot, sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, once the jailer 

^P.R.O. Mary Queen of Scots, vol. 19, n. 103, 15 September, 

"^ Months May, 191 1. 


of M y Queen of Scots and now Lord Lieutenant 
of the county, wrote commanding that a search 
should be made for all seminarists and other papists 
residing or lurking in the Hundred of the High Peak.^ 
There was also a special mandate out for the arrest 
of John Fitzherbert of Padley, well known for his 
zeal in sheltering Catholic priests. Columbel was 
the magistrate charged with its execution, and he 
reached Padley early on Candlemas Day. But their 
hunt was unsuccessful, for their quarry lay hid in the 
chimney. Unfortunately there was a Judas in the 
plot. Topcliife, the most notorious priest hunter of 
his day, had woven his toils round the foolish heart 
of Thomas Fitzherbert, the heir to Padley Hall. It 
was whispered to him that, if he would only betray 
his father and uncle, he might secure for himself the 
whole family estate which was forfeit to the Crown 
from recusancy.^ The bait was readily taken ; and 
on 12 July, one of the two resident priests while 
praying in the garden noticed the approach of a 
cavalcade consisting of the Earl of Shrewsbury, fur- 
nished with accurate information by the traitor, the 
Sheriff, Mr. Basset of Blare, and the Magistrates 
Columbel and Manners. The alarm was at once 
given and the two priests fled to concealment. Mr. 
Fitzherbert, for whom the pursuivants were chiefly 
in quest, was taken ; but his son, adding sacrilege to 
treachery, made known the hiding-place of the mis- 

^ Talbot MSS. quoted in Old Halls of Derbyshire. 
^See Bede Camm, "The Tragedy of the Fitzherberts," in 
Forgotten Shrines^ pp. 43, etc. 

22 * 


sioners. They were soon dragged from their con- 
cealment, mounted and pinioned, and led away with 
their generous benefactor by the jubilant officials, well 
pleased with their morning's work. Sad indeed must 
have been that journey for poor Mr. Fitzherbert as 
he rode beneath the gateway of his hall. Lining 
the roads as he passed were the tenants and coun- 
try-folk by whom he had been for years looked up 
to and respected ; and now, like a common felon 
he was being dragged over those fifty weary miles 
of road which lay between Hathersage and Derby, 
to commence an imprisonment here and in the 
Fleet, the bonds of which would be loosened only in 

With one of his companions we are already familiar, 
the other. Father Robert Ludlam, is still a stranger. 
We are not acquainted with the year of his birth, 
but he is known to have been born at Radborne, a 
village a few miles from Derby, his parents being 
tenants of the De la Pole family. He received his 
early education at a local Grammar School, pro- 
ceeding thence to Oxford where he remained two or 
three years. ^ On leaving the University in 1575, or 
thereabouts, he became a tutor in a gentleman's 
family ; this in all probability was Germain de la 
Pole's of Rathborne Hall, whose eldest son was born 
in 1567.^ And here we meet with the first positive 

^ This is Father Grene's statement (Foley, iii. 228), but no 
word is to be found in the Registers. The Douay Diaries speak 
of him as entering from Oxford on the same day as others from 

2 Gillow, Diet, iv. 344. 



date in the martyr's career, 23 November, 1580,^ the 
day he entered the English College at Rheims, a 
candidate for the priesthood on the English mission. 
In the following March he received the subdiaconate, 
in May the diaconate, and the priesthood at Soissons 
on 21 September, 1581. Thus it will be seen that for 
the first half of his last year at College, Ludlam was 
a fellow-student with Nicholas Garlick. As was 
customary his first Mass was delayed till 5 Octqber 
— did Garlick serve ? — and after a much greater and 
perhaps vexatious delay he received orders to pro- 
ceed to England on 30 April, 1582. 

Of his six years' work in this country, chiefly 
among the Derbyshire Catholics, we have hardly a 
word from friend or foe. He was a man of gentle 
disposition, of whom one of his acquaintance writes, 
" that for his modesty, good life and zeal to win souls 
to God he was beloved of all that love the Catholic 
Church ".^ With these scraps of information previous 
to Mr. Ludlam's apprehension we must be content. 

On reaching Derby, the three captives rode amid the 
scoffs and jeers of the populace through the gloomy 
portals of the county jail. It was indeed a loath- 
some place. Completed early in 1566, it remained 
from the outset a discredit to the shire ; and even in 
those evil days for prisoners, was notorious for its 
foulness and the frequent visitations of jail fever. 
Its site was in the corn-market, over an open brook 
which at that time was nothing but an uncovered 

^ This and subsequent dates from the Douay Diaries. 
^ Father Grene, quoting Bagshaw's narrative. 


drain. " A vile archway admitted the horse-pas- 
senger," we are told *' a viler still the foot "} Top- 
cliffe, whom none would have deemed over-sensitive 
in regard to the housing of his victims, speaks of 
''that foul hole Derby gaol that always stank and 
bred corruption in the prisoners ". A modern author ^ 
refers to the jail as erected '' in a river and exposed 
to damp and filth as if they meant to drown the cul- 
prit before hanging him ". 

In this delectable lodging Garlick and Ludlam met 
a third secular priest, Richard Sympson by name, 
who had been remanded from the last assizes under 
suspicion of wavering. He was born in Yorkshire ; 
Dr. Bagshaw's MS. account says of good parent 
stock, the Bishop of Chalcedon's Catalogue adding 
that he was of Wells, near Ripon. He seems to have 
been brought up as a Protestant, for he was a scholar 
of Gloucester Hall, Oxford,^ where he completed his 
studies, and after some years became a minister. 
How long he was thus engaged we do not know, but 
" after knowledge of the absurdity and falsehood of 
his religion," he became a Catholic, and on this ac- 
count suffered a long and severe imprisonment in 
York. It would seem that during this period of in- 
carceration he obtained his vocation to the priest- 
hood ; at any rate he was admitted to Douay College 
on 19 May, 1577. Opposite this date in the Diaries 

^ Glover, History of Derbyshire. J. C. Cox, Three Centuries 
of Derbyshire Annals., vol. i. p. 266, vol. ii. p. i. 
^J. Pendleton, History of Derbyshire.^ p. 8, 
^ So says Father Grene, though the Registers are silent. 


is a marginal note of some interest ^ of which one would 
like to be better informed. Evidently some Catholic 
in England, possibly a prisoner at York, had heard a 
voice from heaven predicting a speedy martyrdom. 
News in some vague way had already reached Douay, 
but Sympson was able to bring them definite infor- 
mation on the matter. The next three months were 
devoted to college routine, and early in August he 
went to Brussels to receive Holy Orders, and re- 
turned to Douay on the 20th of the month ; leaving 
for England on 17 September, 1577. The fact that 
there was another Richard Sympson, a contemporary 
of our martyr at Douay, renders the chronicle at this 
period very confused. The latter was a native of Lan- 
cashire, and was ordained a few days after his name- 
sake entered the Seminary. We are on safer ground 
with Dr. Challoner -^ who recounts that " he used much 
preaching in defence of the Catholic faith, to win 
souls ".^ Of his movements in these works of z al 
we are as usual in the dark, but from contemporary 
histories we may gather that he must have been in 
constant danger even from the day of his arrival at 

^ " Ex hujus relatione certissime cognovimus de voce ilia 
coelitus facta cuidam simplici Catholico mox responsuro de fide 
etc.," p. 121. 

^ Challoner, i. p. 207, and Foley, iii. 43. 

3 Vol. i. p. 207. In 1 581, Mr. Wm. Skillicome, J.P., of Frees 
Hall, Kirkham, sheltered a Mr. Sympson at his house. Later 
the same gentleman is found lodging at Salesbury Hall, the 
property of the Talbot family (C/?.5. iv, 182). But who can 
identify these names with either of the two priests mentioned in 
the text ? 


Douay. For some months past the Seminarists had 
been insulted in the streets, and even during the 
short stay of Sympson at the College, all were warned 
not to appear in public more than was necessary, re- 
ports being rife that they were all to be massacred. 
In England he seems to have adopted the alias of 
Hygate,^ and thereby escaped detection till 1585, 
when he was first lodged in the Clink and afterwards 
sent into banishment.^ But his return to the vine- 
yard was as speedy as that of Nicholas Garlick. 
This second period of liberty may have lasted about 
two years, when one day while travelling from Lanca- 
shire to Derby he fell in with a man who simulated 
Catholicity so well that Mr. Sympson, off his guard, 
disclosed his priesthood. The traitor accordingly had 
him apprehended at the next town and committed to 
Derby jail.^ 

At the next assizes, the Lent sessions of 1588, he 
was tried and condemned for being a priest " made 
by the authority and rites of the Roman Church ".* 
Details of this first trial are not forthcoming,^ but we 
are obliged to convict Mr. Sympson of some weakness 
at this period. Either he consented to attend a Pro- 
testant service or at least held out hopes that he 
might do so, whichever it was, the defection was not 

^ P.R.O. Dom. Eliz. 203, no. 20. 

' Challoner, i. 207 ; Morris, Troubles^ ii. 421, 473. 

^ Grene in Foley, iii. 229. 

^ Extract from Mr. Broughton's writings. 

^ Acts of the Privy Council^ New Series, vol. xv. p. 333. Two 
letters referring to Mr. Sympson's capture, in which the Justices 
of Assize speak of his " lewde and obstinate behaviour ". 


final, for he was merely remanded to the following 
assizes, and not released, as he would have been 
had the fall been complete. Happily for him Garlick 
and Ludlam were cast into the same cell, and by holy 
exhortation brought him to such contrition for his 
weakness that for the short remainder of his life he 
ceased not to punish himself with fastings, haircloth, 
and w'atchings. This open recantation caused him 
to be treated in jail with great severity. 

After a fortnight's captivity the three priests and 
Mr. Fitzherbert were arraigned before the courts, the 
former for coming into the realm and seducing her 
Majesty's subjects, the latter for harbouring them. 
This was denied by Garlick who, " being very bold, 
answered for all throughout the trial ". He said : — 

" I have not come to seduce, but to induce men 
into the Catholic faith ; for this end have I come 
into the country, and for this will I work as long as 

The Judge then went on : " How would you be 

" By God and the Bench," was the reply. 

" It is not for me to try any," said the Judge. 

" I am loath," replied the martyr, " that my blood 
should be required of twelve poor men." 

" What ! they are honest, and do you call them 
beggars ? " retorted his Lordship in defence of his 
panel of jurymen. 

" I speak not to their disgrace ; but we are all 
beggars of God, or at least ought to be." 

There was more wrangling between the bench and 
the dock, and finally judgment was pronouhced, 


which, of course, took the usual form. All four 
were sentenced to death, the priests for being or- 
dained by authority of the Holy See, and coming into 
the country, and Fitzherbert for having given them 
shelter. It so happened that Mr. Thomas Eyre had 
married Mr. Fitzherbert's daughter, Jane, and he was 
able to redeem his father-in-law's life by selling one 
of the manors on his estate and paying to the Queen 
£10,000 ; yet even now the old squire was not liber- 
ated. He was sent to London to be lodged in the 
Fleet Prison, where he died in great destitution on 
9 November, 1590. 

" I thought," said Garlick, as the three left the 
dock, " that Cain would never be satisfied till he had 
the blood of his brother Abel." 

Execution was not long delayed. On the day fol- 
lowing, 24 July, the three priests were stretched upon 
hurdles, and drawn by horses through the filthy gate- 
way up to the place of execution, where an unpre- 
cedented throng had assembled. Garlick was in a 
joyous mood; he was met by an old acquaintance 
who told that they had " shot oft together". 

"True," said he, " but I am now to shoot such a 
shot as I never shot in all my life." 

When they reached the scaffold, Mr. Sympson, as 
senior prisoner, was ordered to mount first. Garlick, 
however, anxious for the constancy of his friend and 
wishing to give him an example, hastened to the 
ladder which he embraced and kissed. Then, because 
the fire was not yet ready, he addressed the spec- 
tators in a cheerful voice, and ended his impressive 
spee(!h by suddenly casting among the crowd a 


number of loose papers written in prison, which he 
declared would show what he affirmed. It is said 
in an ancient manuscript account of the martyrdom ^ 
that every one into whose hands these papers fell 
was subsequently reconciled to the Church. Even- 
tually he was turned oif the ladder. 

This action seems to have been somewhat prema- 
ture on the part of the executioners. It was done to 
prevent the martyr gaining further hold upon the 
people. As his doublet had not been removed, the 
hanging had little or no effect, so much so that when 
he was cut down and disembowelled he retained the 
full use of his faculties, and even spoke to the execu- 
tioner and the populace while the butchery was being 

Mr. Ludlam, who had witnessed this scene with 
calmness and joy, now stepped forward,^ and spoke 
eloquently on the cardinal points of Catholic doctrine, 
the marks of the Church especially, and concluded 
by tracing out the course of England's sad apostasy. 
After a few minutes' pause, he broke out into a 
pathetic lament at the dearly purchased choice of 
his countrymen, and closed his last sermon on earth 
with a fervid exhortation to repentance. He prayed 
for England, the bystanders, all enemies, and with 

^Dr. Bagshaw's MS., quoted by Challoner, p. 185. 

^ In the poem which follows it would appear that Sympson 
was second to die. But the lines " Garlick did the ladder kiss, 
and Sympson after hie," refer not to the order of executions, 
but to the incident on page 346, in which Garlick hastened after 
Sympson, etc. 


the words Venite benedicti Dei upon his lips — as 
though, said the bystanders, he was gazing on a 
vision of Angels — he passed- from the ladder to his 
Maker. Mr. Sympson followed with equal fortitude ; 
deeply bewailing his previous fall. When the people 
saw his hair-shirt, they somewhat inconsequently 
cried out, ^' A devil, a devil ! " but it was explained to 
them that he wore this in penance for his fall. 

Two contemporary poems may here be given 
which, though devoid of any literary merit, are in- 
dicative of the profound impression made upon those 
who witnessed this triple martyrdom. The first is 
from the Eyre MSS. at Ushaw: — 

These valiant men thus died for God's great cause, 
Tears follow after them, and loud applause 
From the surrounding crowd, which homeward go 
With downcast looks, and hearts all drenched with woe. 

The next is in a lighter strain, and describes the 
martyrdom. It is an old ballad handed down for 
generations by the Catholics of Derbyshire : — 

When Garlick did the ladder kiss. 
And Sympson after hie, 
Methought that then St. Andrew was 
Desirous for to die. 

When Ludlam looked on smilingly, 
And joyful did remain. 
It seemed St. Stev'n was standing by 
For to be stoned again. 

And what if Sympson seemed to yield, 
For doubt or dread to die, 
He rose again and won the field, 
And died most constantly. 


His watchings, fastings, shirt of hair, 
His speech, his death and all. 
Do record give, do witness bear 
He wailed his former fall. 

The heads and quarters of the three martyrs were 
set up in different places in and about Derby ; and 
so great was the impression produced in the district 
that many conversions resulted. Some Catholic gen- 
tlemen, including Dr. Bagshaw, to whose manuscript 
narrative we owe so much, came by night fully armed, 
and removed a portion of these relics. Tradition 
says that the head of Mr. Garlick was ultimately 
buried in the churchyard of Tideswell after its re- 
moval from Derby old bridge. 

There is a prophecy attributed to him which states 
that there will ever be at least one Catholic repre- 
sentative of the family. Whether this has been the 
case for the three hundred odd years since Mr. Gar- 
lick's death we do not know. Tradition'says that it 
has. Be this as it may, there is one remarkable in- 
stance in later days of the conversion of one who 
roundly asserted that she, at any rate, would not be 
party to the verification of this prediction. 

The names of Garlick and Ludlam are kept green 
in the districts where they worked and died. A 
pilgrimage is made every year on 12 July to Padley 
Chapel. In outward appearance the now deserted 
shrine has changed but little since the fateful 12 July 
when the two missionary priests said their last Mass 
at its altar. Its adaptation to a hay-loft has been 
so slight as to leave undisturbed the angel corbels of 
the roof, the muUioned windows above the altar, the 


chimneys already referred to, and the piscina in the 
southern wall. Perhaps some day the Mass at 
Hathersage Catholic Church, which ushers in the 
day of pilgrimage, will be transferred to the now 
desecrated shrine. 

E. K. 

Authorities. — Grene, Collectanea F^ printed in Foley, Re^ 
cords, iii. 224. Douay Diaries. Bagshaw^s MS., quoted by 
Challoner, i. 3, 185. 



Mile End Green, 28 August, 1588. 

There is irony in the fact that our first knowledge 
of William Dean, of his origin and place of birth, 
comes from The Accusations of Topcliffe,^ who about 
this time, to judge from the prison lists, was one of 
the busiest men in London. On his word we have 
the fact that William Dean was born " in Lynton of 
Craven," in the County of Yorkshire. His father 
had served " old Richard Norton the Rebel," and so 
William Dean himself came into touch with this 
good old Catholic family. As son of a rebel, and 
the servant of a rebel of some standing, life held out 
little promise to him during the reign of Elizabeth. 

The times had dealt hardly with old Sir Richard 
Norton and his servant Dean, but he came of a 
fighting stock well worn to the fortunes of war, and 
there was also a memorable tradition attaching to 
his family. Ballads tell us that under the Percies 
many great lords had fought, displaying their family 
scutcheons, but — 

1 CJ^.S. V. p. 26. 


The Nortons ancyent had the cross 
And the five wounds Our Lord did bear. 

It was so now ; and the old man was bearing it 
in a sacred cause. Old Sir Richard Norton was 
wandering in Spain and Italy, receiving a pension 
from the King of Spain, and his sons were exiles 
with him. 

The next item with which Topcliffe favours us is, 
" That this William Dean dissimulated as a protes- 
tant and became a minister and served at the cure 
of Munkefriston in the county York — where many of 
the parish still continue recusants ". 

The turn of affairs which drove " old Norton the 
rebel " abroad, about the year 1570, must have 
seriously affected the fortunes of old Mr. Dean and 
his son. What happened to the father is not re- 
corded, but there is good reason to believe that 
Topcliffe is right in asserting that William Dean 
apostatized and became a minister. This phase in 
his career receives confirmation from a stray illusion 
in the Relation of the Penkevels, a reliable source, 
as it needs no stretch of imagination to trace the 
account to William Dean himself; in intercourse 
with the Penkevels he may have mentioned this 
past history.^ Speaking of an event later in his life 
the account says : " The names of the priests I re- 
member were, first Mr. Deane who had been some- 
time a minister". 

^ The writer, Peter Penkevel, never saw Topcliflfe's account, an 
official document, but the fact mentioned was probably well 
known to any who had interest in William Dean. 


The next statement is interesting, but not quite 
true. " He fled of late to Rheames intending to 
serve his old master Norton the Rebel." The truth 
is, that in the year 1581 William Dean was recon- 
ciled by a seminary priest, and future martyr, 
Thomas Alfield. The latter had left Rheims for the 
English Mission on 29 March, 1581. Among his 
first acts must have been this reconciling of William 
Dean, and of his own apostate brother, Robert. 
That Dean had crossed with the intention of serving 
" his old master Norton the Rebel " is not quite 
accurate, but it may be accounted for by the fact that 
this tedious but useful reiteration of the names of 
Norton and Dean coupled together gave the prisoner 
special value in the eyes of the Government ; his 
interests were bound up with those of " old Norton," 
still an object of hatred to those at home. 

In 1581 William Dean went abroad to serve that 
Master Whom " old Norton " was also serving, and 
prepared for the priesthood at Rheims. 

We know from the Douay Diaries what happened 
abroad ; matters in which Topcliffe was not so well 
informed. On 9 July, 1581, he came to Rheims from 
Douay, and on 21 September he set out with several 
others to Soissons and took the subdiaconate ; the 
tonsure and Minor Orders are not noted. He re- 
ceived the priesthood on 21 December, in the same 
year with several others, some of whom were to 
share imprisonment with him later. At length, on g 
January, 1582, the Diary records his first Mass, and 
about a fortnight later he set out alone for the 
English Mission. 



His first missionary labour was abruptly shortened ; 
for only some six or seven Masses were charged against 
him after his landing in London, and he was probably 
being tracked the whole time, as on 21 February he 
was arrested and lodged in Newgate. In the course 
of the same month Topcliffe wrote his accusations, a 
piece of research to which we are already greatly in- 
debted. It continues: " He persuaded the Q.'s sub- 
jects before he went over, not to come to Church or 
to receive the communion " ; if this is so, then 
William Dean's missionary labours commenced before 
his ordination to the priesthood. 

'* He persuaded the Q.'s subjects that the Pope of 
Rome was supreme head and governor of the Church 
of England and not her Majesty. And further that 
England ought to pay tribute to Rome." — Crudely 

" He did wish the Q. Majesty's death Traitorously 
— but he will not confess so much." — The simplicity 
of the latter statement proves the dishonesty of the 

" He did send letters of abominable persuasion 
from Religion to Popery which were intercepted 
going Northwards." These " letters of abominable 
persuasion " are lost ; they were probably meant for 
his former parishioners. While labouring for souls 
in London, Dean had evidently tried to undo the 
work of the past. 

" He is now within this month returned a seminary 
priest from Rheames." — True. 

" He had conference with George Norton rebel, son 
of oH Norton ye rebel, at Rheames,"— His com- 


. •— 

nexion with the Norton family is not to turn to 
Dean's advantage. The meeting is probably a fact, 
George Norton was at this time wandering in 

Then comes the painful part of the document. 
William Dean had faltered under torture. 

** He has said 6 or 7 masses since coming over in 
London. The most of them at one Mistress Alford's 
house within Salisbury Court, where he lodged most, 
and before herself and sometime one Rodgers who 
lodged at Mrs. Alford's. 

" One mass at My Lady Ffrogmortons near Thames 
Street where the lady was and 6 other gentlemen. 

" One mass at Fleet Street, xii. persons present at 

" One mass at Mrs. Thymolby's lodging before 

** He did hear Mrs. Thymolby's Priest say mass. 

" He reconciled a servant of Mrs. Alford's." 

We learn the painful sequel to this confession in a 
letter of Recorder Fleetwood to Lord Burghley, dated 
14 April, 1582. 

*' Mrs. Rodgers, Mrs. Alford, and Mr. Rogers, and 
Hyde were arraigned for hearing mass at Shrovetide 
in the House of Francis Alford of Salisbury Court. 
The Seminary Priest was one Deane. This Deane 
and the said Hyde (Hyde was reconciled by Deane) 
did give evidence, and for that cause Mr. Secretary's 
pleasure was that they should be spared." 

From this time on for the next three years William 
Dean was left alone with his thoughts, being occasion- 
ally moved from prison to prison. In the May of 

23 1^ 


1582 there was a plan afoot, of which he was probably 
unaware, of sending him to the North to suffer amongst 
his own folk with Thomas Alfield, who had recon- 
ciled him. Witnesses were actually got together to 
effect this purpose, but it may be that Alfield faltered 
— at all events William Dean was left in prison. 

We can trace the places of Dean's imprisonments, 
roughly, for the years that followed. In the February 
and March of 1583 William Deyos, keeper of New- 
gate, gives his name in a list endorsed " Prisoners 
for Religion," with the added remark, " committed 
on suspicion of Treason ". 

By 8 April, 1584, we find his name given with nine 
others as confined in the Clink prison, ''for religion 
— not conforming themselves to her majesty's laws ". 
This list includes Edward Shelley, a layman, who 
was afterwards executed for helping Dean. The 
change of prisons was probably consequent on his 
indictment at the Queen's Bench, Westminster, with 
William Hartley and others in the February of that 
year, " on the Wednesday next after the morrow of 
the Purification," as Father Persons gives it. A 
verdict of high treason was brought in, and sentence 
passed accordingly. Dean lingered on in prison. 

The panic occasioned by the assassination of the 
Prince of Orange abroad in the July of the same year 
gave colour to a new turn of affairs. The Statute 
known as 27th Elizabeth was passed — in defence of 
the Queen's Majesty it was supposed. It is said that 
Elizabeth personally urged on the decree of banish- 
ment which resulted. The work of emptying the 
prisons was general. York and Hull contributed their 


exiles. William Dean met some twenty brother 
priests on the Tower Wharf, and a few friends were 
allowed to see them off. 

They landed at Newhaven in Normandy, in the 
early months of 1585, and several of the exiles found 
their way to Rheims. Dean remained in his old 
college, offering his services at the disposal of the 
president, until the following November. The Diaries 
record his departure on the 21st of that month, 
1585. " Dominus Dean, presbyter, departed return- 
ing to England, after being sent into exile a short 
time ago." 

His missionary labours were somewhat longer this 
time, in all probability, though little is known of them, 
but he was again arrested, probably in the winter of 
1587-1588, for his name is given in contemporary 
records as confined in the Gatehouse Prison in the 
March of 1588. 

Meanwhile, the Armada came and went, and in 
August the Courts were busy again. On 14 August 
a letter was issued to the inquisitors, Topcliffe being 
one, ordering them to secure the prison lists from the 
keepers, and to examine them : " But especially to 
inquire which of them are Jesuits or Priests, and 
either have not departed out of the realm or have re- 
turned again thither". Under the latter, of course, 
William Dean was included. The inquisition was 
finished by 20 August, and the results handed to 
Serjeant Puckering, and by him to Lord Burghley. 

William Dean was at first set down to be exe- 
cuted for Middlesex, but this was scratched out, and 
his name added under those for London. 


We learn from the Relation of Peter Penkevel that 
Dean was condemned with some thirteen others. 
" The year that the Armada compassed England 
about, at St. Bartholomewtide, there were fourteen 
priests and laymen at one Sessions at Newgate ar- 
raigned. . . . The names of the priests that I re- 
member were first Mr. Deane, who had been some 
time a minister." In the report of the Session held 
from 26-28 August, before Sir George Bond, the Lord 
Mayor, and others, Dean's name is set down with that 
of Henry Webley, a layman, as executed for London. 

On 26 August Edward Shelley, a gentleman of Lon- 
don, was condemned to death, " for receiving, aiding 
and comforting of one William Deane," who was to 
precede him in martyrdom by two days. 

From the letters of Father Robert Southwell we 
learn that he was not dragged on a hurdle nor dis- 
membered, but was conveyed in a cart, together with 
Henry Webley, to Mile End Green, and there hanged. 
His execution was attended with considerable bru- 
tality. He desired earnestly to speak to the people 
while on the way to execution, but shouts were 
raised and he could not be heard. Under the gibbet 
itself he made a second attempt " as he sat in the 
cart, but was sore hurt by an officer with a bill upon 
his head," and was, moreover, gagged so violently 
with a cloth that he was half suifocated when he put 
his head into the noose. These are the facts of 
William Dean's passing from exile, the Douay Diaries 
tell the story simply, — '' ab exilio ad martyrium 
rediit ". 

H. E. D. 


Authorities. — The nucleus of this life may be found in 
Topcliffe's document {Cath. Rec. Soc. v. 26). He claims to have 
his evidence at first hand, as he tells us in his own eccentric 
spelling — '' Emong other theis parti cularytees bee confessed by 
theis persons hereunder named. Wm. Deane, a feugetyve 
seameanary preest, in prison in Neugait." This short history 
gives all that is known of the martyr's early years, touches 
his college life abroad, and becomes detailed again after his return 
as a priest. Some account of the history of the Nortons of that 
day, and later, may be gleaned from the lists of Yorkshire Cath- 
olics, 1604 (pp. 41, 44, 74), edited by E. Peacock, F.S.A. The 
life abroad is supplemented mainly by reference to the Douay 
Diaries. Other materials : the Catalogues, esp. C.R,S. reprint 
of Gerard's Cat. of Martyrs, 1587-94. Historia Particular 
de la Persecucion (Diego de Yepes), p. 160. Stow, Annals 
(161 5), p. 749. Relation of Peter Penkevel. Notes and Quer- 
ies^ vi. Series v. 163. Downside Review (March, 1909). Chal- 
loner, 209. Morris, Troubles of Our Cath. Forefathers^ ii. 72, 
156-7. Pollen, Acts of Eng. Martyrs^ 296. Gillow, ii. 36. 
Diet, of Nat. Biography. C.R.S. Publications^ ii. and v., re- 
print of Documents on the Subject and Prison Lists. Foley, 
S.J., Records of Eng. Province^ Series ii.-iv., also Series ix.-xi. 



Mile End Green, 28 August, 1588. 

The ports of England in 1586, the year with which 
this martyr's story opens, were under careful obser- 
vation. The watchers were not merely of the Govern- 
ment's recognized officials but included that class of 
worthies who were content to be its cat's-paws, while 
the time served, for a purely business consideration. 
Under this double scrutiny all vessels left these ports 
for other shores, hence that Catholic offender was 
extremely clever who escaped Elizabeth's penalties 
and gained exile in safety. 

It happened in the month of April during the year 
1586 that a certain ship lay in the haven of Chi- 
chester in readiness to sail for France. She had on 
board five passengers whose sole desire was to reach a 
Catholic shore, and one of them was a layman named 
Henry Webley. 

But the watchers found her out. And the gloomy 

sequel is told in a document dated 25 April, 1586. 

The names of Henry Webley and his four companions 

are written in with the note : — 



'* Taken in Chichester Haven, a ship board going 
over, and sent to the Marshalsea by Mr. Secretary ". 

They had been examined by the Mayor of Chichester 
we are told later on, " and so sent to the right honour- 
able lords of her Majesty's Council and by their 
honours committed and since not examined ". 

We can now leave Henry Webley in the London 
Prison, where he remained for two years, to inquire 
into the causes that had brought him there, and the 
reasons for his summary seizure on board ship in 
Chichester harbour. 

One record refers to him almost familiarly, it would 
seem, as " Harry Webley " and adds that he was 
born in Gloucester. The Webleys of Gloucester 
were plain folk enough at this time to all appearances, 
though by the eighteenth century some of the bearers 
of that name are found to be armigeri. The arms 
have been found on a tomb and given " Or, a bend 
between three mullets pierced sable ". But plain 
folk as they were in the sixteenth century they seem 
to have found their way into the annals of those times. 

There is a John Webley, though no good Catholic 
we fear, described as a dyer, and holding the position 
of Mayor of Gloucester, 1583-4. This first among 
many brethren may represent the incipient stages 
of the future greatness of the name, afterwards to 
find fit expression in a coat of arms. However, he 
is engaged when we meet him in making examina- 
tion of John Mynors, who was a prisoner for the 
Catholic religion. It is probable that there was a 
blood-relationship between Henry Webley and this 
man, without supposing any close kinship. 


Then there is Thomas Webley also described as a 
dyer, but having the further distinction of being 
bracketed with Edward Shelley as " a disperser of 
traitorous books". He was tried with Thomas Al- 
field in 1585, and both of them suffered martyrdom. 
Here again no direct relationship can be traced to 
Henry Webley. Finally amongst that little group 
of Catholics taken at Lyford in company with Ed- 
mund Campion there is another bearer of this name, 
one William Webley, a yeoman. 

But to return to the fortunes of Henry Webley, 
suffering for the faith in his turn. It is probable 
that he had gone up to London from Gloucester, 
before he made that final journey from Chichester 
and returned to its prisons. Dr. Challoner says of 
him that he had aided and assisted William Dean, 
and thus he brings Webley to London ; for, as far as 
we know, William Dean's short spell of mission-work 
had been wholly confined to that city. His second 
capture and imprisonment may have started the hunt 
for Webley, who had aided and assisted him, and 
was to pay the penalty for these good offices. 

But whatever the circumstances that had brought 
him from London to Chichester, Henry Webley was 
certainly a fugitive when we first met him on board 
a ship in Chichester Haven leaving this country for 
France. What his plans and destination were to 
have been after his landing there, is a question which 
suggests many possibilities, when we reflect how 
the College at Rheims stood open to exiles ; but that 
landing was never made, and we return to Henry 
Webley, prisoner for religion in the Marshalsea. 



He is next noticed in the prison lists for June, 
1586, with his four companions, and the note is 
given — "Taken in Chichester Harbour going over 
into France ". Once again mention is made of him 
in an interesting manner in the July of the same 
year. Nicholas Berden, a spy, a very fair example 
of his class, addressed some papers to Sir Francis 
Walsingham, Secretary of State, endorsed '* Informa- 
tion concerning all priests in London prisons ". Two 
items are sufficient for our purpose. First he gives 
a list of five laymen, and the respectful remark 
" Gentlemen of wealth," and adds, " meet for Wis- 
bech ". Then the second, a list of seven others, 
Webley making one, classified as " Poor fools but 
very knaves " ; and yet another inspiration is pre- 
served to us, " neither wealthy nor wise but all very 
arrant ". Yet we must be grateful to Nicholas if only 
for this, that he has told us that Henry Webley was 
too poor to pay his way to some lesser comforts while 
within prison walls. 

From now on, till the Armada Year, Webley was 
left in prison, receiving the treatment generally ac- 
corded to prisoners classified as stated above, until 
he came under the notice of the inquisitors appointed 
for the work of 13-20 August of 1588. Their duty 
was to make out a report of persons liable to be exe- 
cuted, and to deliver it to Serjeant Puckering, who 
also did some important work on it, and passed it on 
to higher powers. In it the name of Henry Webley 
appears surrounded by abbreviations, and under the 
heading " Persons reconciled," " Felony ". 

The entry reads : " susp. Henry Webley, cul. re- 


fuse pdon " : " take Q. part " was also added, but 
afterwards cancelled. " Susp." is taken to refer to 
the hanging, and may have been added, quite con- 
sistently, either before or after the event ! The rest, 
" culpable, refuse pardon," simply shows that for con- 
venience' sake, and to ensure brevity, the verdict was 
given before the trial.^ The words " take Q. part " 
may refer to some wavering on Webley's part — but 
it is scanty evidence, and is unsupported. 

The sequel to all this is to be found in another 
document which reads " Sessions of oyer and ter- 
miner and gaol delivery holden at Justice Hall, Old 
Bayley the 26-29 August 1588 " — before Sir George 
Bond, Lord Mayor, and others. 

** There were executed for London" — "Henry 
Webley," etc. 

These were the trials and executions of Bartholo- 
mewtide, of which Peter Penkevel speaks in the 
Relation which he gives of the sufferings of his time. 

" The laymen that then suffered," he writes, " for 
the most part were condemned because they said 
they had confessed their sins to a priest. The names 
of the priests I remember were, first Mr. Deane, who 
had been sometime a minister." Henry Webley 
must be numbered amongst these laymen, and con- 
fession was probably one of his crimes. It is said 
that he was put to death for aiding and assisting 
William Dean, and a similar statement is made of 
Edward Shelley, who suffered two days later " for 

^ Every one will remember a similar note by Thomas Crumwell 
on Richard Whiting, last Abbot of Glastonbury — " To be tried at 
Glaston and also to be executed there ". 


receiving, aiding and comforting " the same venerable 

This connexion with Dean may be the reason why 
Webley is found with him in the same cart on the 
way to execution at Mile End. The martyrdom took 
place on 28 August and was carried out in a violent 
and brutal manner. Dean's attempts to speak were 
cruelly silenced by sheer rough treatment, and it is 
hardly likely that Webley fared more gently. The 
victims do not seem to have been quartered. Webley 
was thirty years of age when he died, as we learn 
from An Ancient Editor s Notebook : — 

" Edmund Shelley, [evidently the Shelley mentioned 
above,] Hugh Moore, and Henry Webley, aged thirty, 
laymen for their conscience were hanged. H . W. [evi- 
dently the last named] at Mile End Green, Aug. 

This is the story of Henry Webley, briefly told, 
and of the journey he made, instead of that which he 
contemplated, when he was "taken in Chichester 
Haven going over into France in April 1586". 

H. E. D. 

Authorities. — Challoner's Missionary Priests^ i. 211. 
C.R.S. vols. ii. pp. 242-51, and v., Catalogue of Martyrs^ 10, 
289, Massacre of 1588, 154-9. Morris, Troubles^ etc.. Series iii. 
Yepez, Hist. Part. 610. PenkeveVs Relation^ A.E.M. 283-97. 
Foley, Records. 



The Theatre^ Shoreditch^ London^ 28 August, 1588. 

In reading the lives of the English martyrs, it is fre- 
quently very difficult to realize v^hat manner of men 
they were, until we chance to light upon a few of the 
words spoken at their trial, or on the scaffold, which 
have been treasured up by those of the faithful who 
were present at the execution. Perhaps this is no- 
where better illustrated than in the case of the 
Venerable WilHam Gunter, who just at the end re- 
veals himself to us by a few simple words as a man 
of the greatest humility and courage. 

His early years were spent in the quiet little town 
of Raglan, in Monmouthshire, which was his birth- 
place. About the year 1583, feeling called to the 
priesthood, he determined to become a missionary 
priest, and for that purpose entered the English 
Seminary then at Rheims. It is not difficult to 
realize how strong must have been the vocation of 
those who were willing, if needful, to drink to the dregs 
the cup of Christ's passion, that they might partake 



in His glorious priesthood, and share with Him the 
hardships of His apostolate. 

It is probable that he began his seminary course 
on 16 July, 1583, on which date we find his name 
first recorded in the Douay Diaries. Two months 
later, on 23 September, he received the tonsure and 
four minor orders. It was the custom at Douay to 
raise the seminarist to the clerical state, shortly after 
he had entered the seminary, but to postpone the 
sacred orders till his course was nearly completed. 
It was therefore not till three years had passed away 
that the Venerable William Gunter was ordained sub- 
deacon — on 18 September, 1586, while he received 
the diaconate shortly after, probably on 19 December 
following. Within three months he was ordained 
priest on 14 March, 1587. He was soon to share in 
the persecution which our Lord had foretold would 
happen to His disciples : '* If they have persecuted 
Me, they will also persecute you ". With two com- 
panions he left Rheims for England on 23 July, 1587. 

London became the scene of his missionary labours, 
particularly that district through which the present 
Farringdon Street now runs, at least we can presume 
as much, because it was in this neighbourhood that the 
priest was arrested. Working quietly and unosten- 
tatiously, he remained unmolested for the greater 
part of a year. Few priests, however, who remained 
in London could escape for any length of time the 
vigilance of the pursuivants, whose keenness as priest- 
catchers had recently been stimulated by a fresh edict 
of the Government directed against Catholics. In 
1585 an Act had been passed by which it was made 


treasonable for any priest or religious person, who 
had been ordained or -professed by authority from the 
See of Rome, to remain in the country at all or even 
to come into it. Thus it was that within a year the 
Venerable William Gunter fell into the hands of these 
spies of the Government. The report of his arrest is 
found in an enclosure to a letter addressed to a certain 
Mr. Francis Craddocke from the Privy Council, and 
dated 12 September, 1588. From this we learn that 
William Gunter, priest, was arrested on 30 June, 
1588, for remaining traitorously in the Parish of St. 
Sepulchre in the Ward of Farringdon. 

On his arrest, he was imprisoned in Newgate, there 
to await his trial. His imprisonment was of short 
duration, for the Government were at this time medi- 
tating an attack on the Catholics as a counter-move 
to the invasion of the Armada. The campaign of 
persecution opened with a general examination of 
all religious prisoners then in bonds, which was 
carried out by order of the Privy Council. These 
proceedings lasted six days, from 14 to 20 August. 
The report of the individual examinations was 
then handed over to Mr. John Puckering, Serjeant- 
at-Law, who, as Crown Advocate, was gathering up 
the evidence upon which the prisoners were to be in- 
dicted. In one of these documents the name of our 
martyr appears charged with treason, and in the 
margin a note in abbreviated legal phrase is attached, 
from which we gather that, at his examination, he 
had confessed himself guilty of the charges brought 
against him, i.e. of remaining in the realm as a priest. 
The annotations in these lists, also in Puckering's 


handwriting, are meant for his conduct of the case. 
On the left-hand side of the names a very significant 
abbreviation occurs in a number of cases, among 
them being that of WilHam Gunter. It is the mono- 
syllable " sus," an abbreviation of the word "sus- 
pendatur " — "let him be hanged," and this before 
trial ! 

Very soon after these examinations had been com- 
pleted the prisoners were brought up for their trial. 
On 26 August our martyr was brought to the bar at 
Justice Hall in the Old Bailey during the sessions of 
Oyer, Terminer and Gaol delivery held for the city 
of London and for the county of Middlesex, which 
continued for three days. The sessions were held 
before Sir George Bond, Lord Mayor and others, and 
it was therefore before him that the martyr was 
arraigned. Upon being asked by the Commissioners 
as to whether he had reconciled any since he came 
into England, he, with great resolution and courage, 
answered that he had, and would do the same again 
if he could. Knowing full well what the verdict of 
the jury would be, he asked the Judge that he might 
have judgment without jury, being unwilling, no 
doubt, that they should have the guilt of his con- 
demnation upon their souls. This request was readily 
granted, and he was condemned to be executed for 
the double crime of remaining as a priest in the realm 
and for reconciling his countrymen to the faith. 

The trial of the martyr reveals to us the true 
nobility of his character ; his courage in facing the 
sentence of the Judge ; his zeal for souls, his reso- 
lute testimony of his priesthood, and his profound 



charity towards those who were about to declare 
him guilty. 

His execution was appointed to take place at ** The 
Theatre," Shoreditch/ a place of great popular re- 
sort. The Mayor and Aldermen of London having 
suppressed in 1580 all the theatres attached to inns 
in Gracechurch Street, Lombard Street, Ludgate 
Hill and elsewhere within the boundaries of the City, 
there existed at this time only three playhouses, one 
in Blackfriars and two, " The Theatre " and " The 
Curtain," in Shoreditch, all three lying safely out- 
side the City limits. From Bishopsgate a nearly 
continuous street extended out of the City as far as 
Shoreditch Church. '' The Theatre," outside which 
a new gallows had been erected, was probably situ- 
ated at some little distance from the church. On 
either side of this street was a wide extent of fields 
and gardens, and hence the spot was adapted in every 
way for the melancholy spectacle of an execution. 

On 28 August, 1588, the Venerable William Gunter 
made his last journey along the streets of London, 
which formerly he had traversed in disguise, but along 
which he was now being carried — his priestly char- 
acter obvious to all. 

Arrived at the gallows, the martyr was not allowed 
to address the multitudes as was usual on such 
occasions, but the scene enacted could do more tq 
touch the hearts of the bystanders than words would 
ever effect, and thus his very silence spoke for him. 

^ According to Yepez the scene of his martyrdom was Lin- 
coln's Inn Fields, but this is contradicted by the unanimous 
evidence of all the other authorities. 


All those who had been condemned at the Newgate 
Sessions for their religion, were spared the barbarous 
penalty of being bowelled and quartered, and when 
the martyr at the gallows was informed of this act of 
clemency on the part of the Crown, he, with wonder- 
ful humility and sweetness, replied : " It is fit that it 
should be so ; for I am not worthy to suffer so much 
as my brethren ". These few words reveal the true 
sanctity of the man, who regarded it as the greatest 
honour to endure the cruellest and most violent death 
for Christ's sake, and who grieved that he was not 
worthy to suffer so much. 

He was hanged without further ado, and this 
penalty he endured with great joy and constancy, 
and as he hung, several of the crowd whose hearts 
were only hardened by such a sight, sung in chorus, 
" This man for the Pope, is hanged with a rope ". 

J. c. 

Authorities.— Dodd's Church History^ vol. ii. Challoner's 
Memoirs of Missionary Priests. Penkevel's Relation, A.E.M. 
287. Morris' Troubles, Series iii. C.R.S. vol. v. Stowe's 
Annals. Yepez, Hist. Part. Gillow's Bibliographical Diction- 
ary of English Catholics. Catalogue of Martyrs, C.R.S. v. 10, 
289 ; Massacre of 1588, ibid. 154-9 ; Orders of Privy Council, 
ibid. 163-4. 

24 * 




LincolrCs Inn Fields^ 28 August, 1588. 

Towards the end of the reign of Henry VIII, in 
1547, Robert Morton was born in the Httle Yorkshire 
town of Bawtry. He was the son of Robert Morton, 
Esquire, and Anne his second wife ; the family was, 
on both sides, well connected, his mother being the 
daughter of John Norton of Norton Conyers,^ and 
connected, by a former marriage, with the Plump- 
tons of Plumpton. Though the family appears to 
have been a large one, only the names of three of 
Robert's brothers, Anthony, Daniel, and Samson, 
have come down to us. 

Considerable influence appears to have been ex- 
ercised over the youth of our martyr by his uncle the 
Rev. Nicholas Morton, D.D., who in 1586 came to 
Rome with him, and there died, and it is to the 
memory of this uncle that Robert Morton had erected 
the memorial tablet still to be seen in the Chapel of 
the EngHsh College. The inscription on the tablet 
is as follows : — 

^ Gillow says that Robert Morton's mother was the daughter 
of William Radcliffe of Rilston in Craven, but from information 
communicated by the late Mr. W. Morton, we gather that the 
above is probably the correct name (cf. C.R.S. vol. v.). 















Of the early life of our martyr we know practically 
nothing, but it was probably spent in his good Catholic 
home, sheltered from the religious troubles which 
swept over the whole country during the reigns of 
Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth. 

From an entry in the Douay Diaries for 1573 we 
learn that he began the study of theology in the 
College about that date, when he would be about 
twenty-six years of age. He did not remain there long, 
however, as, for some reason, probably on account 
of his father's death which took place some time be- 
tween 24 July, 1574, ^^^ 20 January, 1575,^ his studies 
were interrupted. We cannot, however, be sure of the 
reason, as there is no mention in the Diaries of the 
date of his leaving the College. During his stay at 
Rheims he must have studied a considerable amount 

1 We gather the approximate date of his father's death from 
the facts that his will was made on 24 July, 1574, and proved on 
20 January, 1575. 


of theology, for from what we know of his later life 
he did very little more before he was ordained priest. 

From this time, at Rheims, we completely lose 
sight of our martyr until 1586, when on g December 
he came to Rome. It is during his stay in Rome 
that Father Warford knew him, and to Father War- 
ford we are indebted for the only extant description 
of the martyr. He writes : ** He was prudent of action, 
a good height, his hair and beard inclining to red, his 
face somewhat inflamed owing to the heat of his 
liver". When he came to Rome, he was accom- 
panied, as has been mentioned, by his uncle. Dr. 
Nicholas Morton, and on their arrival they stayed the 
usual period of eleven days at the English College. 
After that, Robert seems to have become a ''con- 
victor" (or one who pays the full pension), but as 
his uncle was in failing health, and . died on 27 
January of the following year, it is improbable that 
he entered upon his studies in earnest before that 

He did not confine himself to acquiring a knowledge 
of theology during his short sojourn in the Eternal 
City, for while studying, as Father Warford says, 
" Cases of Conscience," he also devoted some portion 
of his time to learning the Italian language, and had 
in his possession an Italian edition of the Catechism 
of the Council of Trent, which, though it cannot now 
be found, he presented to the College, writing on the 
flyleaf, as says Father Christopher Grene, *' Collegio 
Anglorum Ex dono Roberti Mortoni ". 

In the Diary of the English College, Rome, we 
read, that on 5 April, 1587, Morton in company with 


John Gerard (afterwards SJ.), became an " alumnus " 
of the College, and took the College oath on the same 
day. John Gerard seems to have been on very in- 
timate terms with our martyr, so much so, that he 
was able to borrow £^2 from him while they were 
together at College. This money, on Gerard's return 
to England in 1588, Morton being already dead, he, 
Gerard, endeavoured without success to repay to 
Morton's relatives, and when he could not find any, 
bestowed it upon the Catholic poor. But from this 
we cannot conclude that all Robert's brothers had 
died sine prole. They might have been alive, though 
it might have been impossible for a missionary priest, 
who of necessity had to spend much of his time in 
hiding, to find them. 

During April of 1587 Morton must have received 
the tonsure and all the orders, up to and inclusive 
of the diaconate in Rome, for before the end of the 
month, we find him, though a deacon, at the head of 
a party of six, four of whom were priests, setting out 
from Rome for Rheims.^ The reason for his being at 
the head of the party may have been any of several : 
he was probably considerably older than any of the 
others, being then about forty years of age ; or again 
he might have been given the position on account of 
his prudence, or wealth, for there seems little doubt 
that he was in a better financial position than any of 
the others. 

^ The names of the members of the party were, D. Robertus 
Mortonus, D. Jacobus Bowlande, D. Robertus Gray, D. Christo- 
ferus Buxton, D. Petrus Fletcher, and Mr. Gulielmus Owen, the 
last named being still a student (cf. Douay Diaries). 


The journey was made during the height of the 
religious wars — '' La guerre des trois Henris," which 
had been going on since 1585, and the difficulties 
caused by these wars, in addition to the ordinary 
hardships of such a journey, are well illustrated in 
the following letter written by Morton from Rheims 
to Father William Holt, Rector of the English Col- 
lege, Rome. 

" Jesus Maria 

" Reverend Father my duety remembered, be- 
setching you not to be offended with me, that I did not 
write from Bononia or Milan for in truthe the heates 
and travel did so troble both my sight and distemper 
my hole bodye, that I was not able to sett hand nor 
pen to any paper for any nede, the which at this 
present (thanked be God) is something recovered, 
although the werinesse of our long & laborious, 
& in the last end, viz. in France, most dangerous 
iorney, be not as yet clean out of my bones. We 
arrived all six (prased be God) safelye at Rhemes 
upon Corpus Christies Eve, havynge, by reason of 
the extreme dearthe both in Italy, Germany and 
France, spent all our money, althoughe everye one 
did what he could to spare, neverthelesse the charges 
came most commonly to eyght Julyos ^ and a crowne 
a day horse & man besydes extraordenarye expenses 
to guides to passe the dangers of montagnes & 
heretikes, whitch verye hardlye we escaped, being 
thre severall tymes in manyfest perill. I lent in our 
iorney unto F. Gray two crownes & a half, be- 

^ An Italian coin named after Pope Julius II, and worth about 


sydes the six crownes, which I took up at Placence 
in your name, who havynge soulde his horse for 
27 crownes hath repayed me. I lent allso unto 
William Owen six crownes in Goolde who for 
sparinge did often ride all the day fastinge without 
his diner, not eatinge anythinge until nyghte, who 
hath not repayed me, but referred me over unto Mr. 
Baylye to be payed upon youre head. Sir, hast of 
my iorney caused me, at my departure from Rome, 
to forgett to pay the paynter, which colored the 
letters upon my uncle's monument (on whose soule 
God have mercy) whome I praye you to discharge, 
& I will repaye it here to whom it shall please 
youe. Thus referringe to write more at large by the 
nexte post, not forgetting my deuty to Mr. Presedent ^ 
(whome I besetch to remember me with his letter), 
to Father Parsons, father Gibbons, father Confes- 
sarious, father Minister, wishing health & obedi- 
ence to all the rest of the colledge, & in especially 
[sic] to them of the congregation,'-^ to whose prayers I 
most earnestly commend my selfe. I committ you 
to the tuition of Jesu, from Rhemes the 30 of Maye 
1587, Your Reverence his to command 

" Robert Morton. 
" Father Gray hath him humblye commended unto 
youe, Mr. Presedent, Father Parsons, and others 

^ Mr. President is Dr. Allen who had been summoned to 
Rome in September, 1585, but had not yet resigned his presi- 
dency at Rheims. 

^ The " congregation " was the Sodality of Our Lady, the 
earliest of such associations in an English college of which we 
have record (cf. C.I^.S. v.). 


above named, who within three dayes is to depart 
to Paris, because heare can be no orders given that 
I may be prest before the next Quatuor tempora. 

" For lightness of carriage I write in a single leafe, 
in such place & paper as I coulde gett." 

Addressed — "All Molto R^o padre il padre Gulielmo 
[Holto] Rettore del Collegio Inglesi A Roma ". 

Robert Morton stayed at Rheims from 27 May, 
1587, until 2 July of the same year, when, having 
been ordained priest, he left the College en route 
for England, but it is during these few weeks spent 
at Rheims, that we get an insight into the character 
of our martyr from the letters which he wrote to 
Father Holt, which cannot fail to stamp him in our 
minds as one worthy to be numbered amongst the 
martyrs who by shedding their blood did so much 
towards restoring to this country the title of an 
** island of saints ". In the letter already quoted we 
can see the martyr's anxiety to receive priest's orders 
in order that he may go and minister to his unfor- 
tunate fellow-countrymen. In the next letter we see 
how joyful he was at having, almost unexpectedly, 
been raised to the dignity of the priesthood on 14 
June, 1587, by the Cardinal de Vaudemont, who con- 
ducted the Ordination instead of the Cardinal of 
Guise, in the Chapel of S. Remy at Rheims, and also 
we see how firm was his intention of getting to 
England as soon as possible. 

He writes : — 

"Jesus Maria 

" Reverend Father, Albeit I signified in my last 
letter that I was out of hope for taking of Orders 


before Michelmas next, havynge not Mr. Presedent's 
letter to any for my help therein, neverthelesse good 
Mr. Baylye givinge credit unto me that Mr. Prese- 
dent would write in that behalfe, at my request moved 
the good Cardinall of Vademont (who by licence of 
the Cardenall of Guise) gave Orders here at Rhemes, 
at which tyme allso I was like to have been reiected 
because I hadd nott my letters of Orders from Rome, 
if youre letter had not ben, which you write to Mr. 
Baylye, whearin you named me a deacon, which eased 
me of a great mortification, seynge father Gray was 
gone & the rest, except father Peter,^ who could 
witness of my orders takinge in Rome. Now there- 
fore seynge it hath plesed Almighty God to helpe me 
throughe the pickes ^ and called me to the order of 
presthoode, presumynge of your accostomed charytie 
& Mr. Presidente's that I may have the same 
auctoritye in absolvynge, reconsilinge, and exercis- 
inge all other sacraments to God his honor, and to 
the comfort of afflicted soules whitch other prests 
have that venture ther lyfes aboute the same end. 
I mean (God willinge) to make all sped convenient 
towards England, according to my determination 
when I departed from youe, the whitch if I chance 
to alter I will (according to my dewty) certefye youe 
thearof. Thus with my humble commendations to 
yourself, Mr. Presedent, father Confessarious, father 
Prefect, father Minister, I seace to troble youe. 

^ I.e. Father Peter Fletcher. 

^ " Throughe the pickes," i.e. " to pass the pikes " or " to run 
the gauntlet " ; cf. Murray's Dictionary. 


** From Rhemes this 17 of June, 1587. Yours to 

** Robert Morton." 

Addressed — "All Molto R^o padre il pre Gulielmo 
Holto della Compania del ss^^o nome di Giesu et 
Rettore del Collegio Inglese. A Roma." 

Morton wrote another letter dated the same as the 
above, in which we see the charity of our martyr, 
who, in spite of his own great joy at his ordination, 
and rapidly approaching mission, did not neglect to 
use his influence to obtain for a fellow-countryman, 
Roland Jenks,^ or as he calls him Chinckes, a posi- 
tion which would enable the unfortunate man to end 
his days in comparative respectability. The letter 
runs as follows : — 

" Reverend Father, I had forgotten in my letter to 
request your favorable charytie towards one Chinckes 
a pore banished man who was some time a ritch 
bookbynder in Oxforde, & lost his earse beinge sett 
on the pillarye for the Catholyke cause, & not onlye 
theyme butt also all his goodes, who is desirous to 
serve in the colledge with youe at Rome as porter, 
and to bynd bookes or dictates to helpe him towardes 
somethinge that he live thoughe porelye, seinge all 
thinges are heare so deare that he is not able to live 
havynge no stock to sett up a great shoppe, & 

^ Roland Jenks was a Catholic bookbinder of Oxford, who, for 
selling Catholic books, was sentenced to have his ears cut off, at 
the Oxford Assizes, 5 July, 1577 ; and after the execution of the 
sentence, jail-fever broke out, carrying off Lord Chief Baron Bell 
and many others. Jenks arrived in Rome 12 November, 1587. 
But he afterwards appears to have found work in Flanders. 


havynge made harde shifte heare to rubbe owt this 
deare tyme. Thus besetchinge youe to lett him 
know youre mynde by youre letter to Mr. Bayley I 
committ youe to the tuition of Jesus. Rhemes this 
17 of June, 1587. 

"Youres to Commande, 
" Robert Morton.'* 

Addressed — " All Molto R^o padre il pre Gulielmo 
Holto Rettore del Collegio Inglese, In Rome A 
Roma ". 

The last of our martyr's letters is written from Paris, 
through which city he passed on his way to England, 
and is dated 20 July, 1587. We gather from it that 
he again found himself in difficulties on account of 
not having any letters of recommendation. But at 
the end he speaks of a way by which he can get into 

" Reverend Father, although I had lately written 
to your Rev. as touching all my affaires — notwith- 
standing having received yours of last of June — 
haveing written divers since by divers posts since my 
coming either thither [Rheims] or to Paris, from 
whence I am, God willing, to depart shortely towards 
England, the course you appointed me, alone without 
Father Gray, who as I writ before went from me 
& is gone into England in a ship of Newcastle — 
F. Tyrius ^ for want of letters in my behalfe will doe 
nothing for me, alledging that he hath command- 
ment from Scotland not to send any priests thither 
until it be known what will be done in the Parliament 

^ Father Tyrie, a learned Scotch Jesuit, who occupied the Chairs 
of Philosophy and Divinity in Paris about this time. 


there, the which beginneth this present day. Never- 
theless he has sent for F. James & F. Peter ^ who had 
your letters to him & hath asked me divers times 
if I had any letters from your Rev to him. But 
God hath provided on a suddaine by a way not 
thought of which I hope will serve — I have bin 
something troubled in my eyes with three or four 
dayes hete after a long whett. Thus with my humble 
commendations — 20 July, 1587. 

" Yours during life, 

" Robert Morton." 

The dashes signify Father Grene's omissions in 
the transcript. 

Of the way Morton got into England we know 
nothing, all we do know is that soon after his arrival 
he was apprehended ; and the next definite date we 
have is August of the following year (1588) when his 
name appears in Burghley's list of priests to be exe- 

It was on 26 August that he received sentence at 
the Sessions *' oyer and terminer" held in the Justice 
Hall at the Old Bailey for the City of London and 
the County of Middlesex, before the Lord Mayor, Sir 
George Bond, and others. 

He was condemned by Statute 27th of Elizabeth, 
which reads : '* No Jesuit seminary priest or other 
such priest deacon or religious or Ecclesiastical per- 
son whatsoever born within the realm or any other 
of its then actual dominions and ordained or professed 
by authority derived from the See of Rome shall come 
into, be, or remain in this realm or other the then 

^ Fathers James Bowlande and Peter Fletcher. 


actual dominions aforesaid under pain of High Trea- 
son unless licensed under section 12. i." 

He was consequently, on 28 August, 1588, when in 
the forty-second year of his age, drawn from Newgate 
to a new gallows erected at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
opposite the place where, later, for many years stood 
the Catholic Church of SS. Anselm and Cecilia. 
Here he was hanged (not bowelled or quartered). 
With him suffered Hugh Moore, a layman : both, 
says Ribadeneira, behaved with admirable patience 
and constancy, yea with joy and pleasure. 

They were not allowed to address the people from 
the gallows, lest the words of those who so cheerfully 
gave up their lives, should stir up among the people 
a reaction in favour of the old religion. 

It is here worthy of mention that a certain layman 
Richard Martin, of whose life and martyrdom an ac- 
count appears later in this book, was executed on 30 
August for having been in the company of Robert 
Morton and paying sixpence for his supper. 

R. J. J. W. 

Authorities. — Catalogue of Martyrs^ C.R.S. v. 10, 289-90 ; 
Four Letters of Robert Morton^ ibid. v. 135-9; Massacre of 
1588^ ibid.v. 154-9. Warford's Relation^ A. EM. 271. Pen- 
kevel's Relation^ 283-97. Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. Chal- 
loner. Douay Diaries. Diary of the English College^ Rome. 
Foley, Records, vi. D odd's English History., etc., etc. 



Lincoliis Inn Fields^ 28 August, 1588. 

Of the short life of Hugh Moore very little is 
known. The date of his birth is uncertain, but 
authorities estimate his age, at the time of his exe- 
cution, to have been about twenty-five. 

As we know the date of his martyrdom, 28 August, 
1588, by working back we can fix the date of his 
birth at somewhere about 1563, and this date fits 
in very well with the few facts we can gather about 
his life. 

He was born at Grantham in Lincolnshire and 
was the son of a well-to-do gentleman, who was how- 
ever a very bigoted Protestant, and consequently 
Hugh was brought up amongst Protestants and re- 
ceived a Protestant education. 

We read in Foster's Alumni Oxonienses that at the 
age of about eighteen, about 1581, he entered Broad- 
gates Hall, Oxford, and there matriculated; but he 
cannot have stayed long at the University, for in 1583 
he went to Gray's Inn, where he studied for the Bar. 
It would appear that it was at this period of his life 
that he first came under Catholic influence ; be this 



as it may, he was received into the Catholic Church 
by Fr. Thomas Stephenson, later S.J., in either 1584 
or 1585. As soon as his father heard of this, as he 
considered, shameful act of his son, he disinherited 
him, and from this time forward sprang up an enmity 
between father and son, an enmity which termin- 
ated in the father taking active proceedings against 
Hugh and being to a great extent instrumental in 
obtaining his conviction and execution a few years 

Upon his conversion Hugh felt himself called to 
the priesthood, and in June, 1585,^ he entered the 
English College then at Rheims. He appears from 
the Douay Diaries to have remained at the College 
for about two years, during which time there is no 
mention of his doings — the next entry concerning 
him being on 11 May, 1587, when his health having 
broken down he had to return to England in order 
to recuperate. 

However, by being reconciled to the Catholic 
Church and going abroad to a Catholic Seminary he 
had rendered himself amenable to law,^ and upon his 
arrival in England, or very soon afterwards, he was 
taken into custody. As the law then stood, he could 

1 In the Douay Diaries the date of his arrival at the College 
is given as 20 June, 1585, but this date is erased and " Circa hoc 
tempus " substituted in Dr. Worthington's handwriting. 

"^ By 27 Eliz. c. 2, s. 5. " Same penalty (i.e. that of High 
Treason) on all laymen educated in any Jesuit college or semin- 
ary beyond the seas who shall not return to this realm, and there 
take the Oath of Supremacy within six months after royal pro- 
clamation made in the city of London," 



have obtained his release and pardon by appearing in 
a Protestant church ; but as in these circumstances 
such an act would have been a sign of apostasy, he 
refused, and consequently, after a long imprisonment, 
he was brought up for trial at the Sessions *' oyer and 
terminer" held before Sir George Bond at the Old 
Bailey on 26 August, 1588 ; concerning which sessions 
we read : — ^ 

" Hugo Moore nuper de Gray's Inn in comitatu 
Middlesex generosus^ was condemned and executed 
for being reconciled to the See of Rome by one 
Thomas Stevenson a Jesuyte ". 

On 28 August, with the Venerable Robert Morton, 
he was drawn from Newgate to a specially erected 
gallows at Lincoln's Inn Fields ; where they suffered 
with great fortitude. 

R. J. J. W. 

Authorities.— Cafalo^ue of Martyrs^ C.R.S. v. 10-289. 
Record of the Trial of More ^ ibid. 158. Massacre of 1588 ibid. 
150. Walpole to Persons., A.E.M. 323. Penkevel's i?^/«/z^;^, 
ibid. 283. Morris, Troubles. Challoner. Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Eng. 
Cath. Douay Diaries. Foster, Alu7nni Oxonienses. Foley, 
Records. Dodd's English History. Ribadeneira, Appendix to 

1 Cf. Sir John Puckering's papers, British Museum, Harleian 

^ The designation " generosus " or its English equivalent 
" gent " is worth noting as in Father Persons' Relacion de 
Algunos Martyrios (Madrid, 1590 ; British Museum) the desig- 
nation has been run into the name which thus reads Morgent, 
and this accounts for our martyr appearing in so many martyr- 
ologies as H. Morgan. 


{alias ACTON or BUDE). 


Clerkenwell, 28 August, 1588. 

Few of the missionary priests who came from abroad 
to England during the stormy days of persecution 
under Elizabeth had such marvellous escapes from 
capture as the Venerable Thomas Holford. 

A very brief biography of the martyr has been 
written by his friend Mr. Davis or Wingfield, a 
priest, who was the means of bringing him into the 
Church, but so complete is it, that it is only neces- 
sary to supplement it by a few details which may 
serve to make the narrative a little clearer. 

** Mr. Thomas Holford (whom Stow calleth Acton) 
was born in Cheshire, but in what place I know not, 
the Bishop of Chalcedon's catalogue says it was at 
Aston, his father being a minister." 

From other sources we learn that he was born 
about the year 1541, and that his birthplace — Aston, 
was in the parish of Acton, which name the martyr 
took as an alias in after life. It is probable that he 
was a member of the family seated at Holford, or one 

387 25 * 


of its offshoots. Then follows the story of his con- 

" I [Mr. Davis] knew him in Herefordshire, where 
he was schoolmaster to Sir James Scudamore, of 
Holm Lacy, that now is, and his two brethren, Mr. 
Harry and John. After my first coming over into 
England, going into Hereford city, where I was born, 
to see my parents, I did send for him and so dealt 
with him gratia Dei cooperante with the help of God's 
grace, that before I knew anything of it, he was gone 
to Rheims to the English College, then residing 
there, where he received Holy Orders, and was re- 
turned again within the space of two years." 

Mr. Holford's conversion took place about the year 
1579. He arrived at the EngHsh College at Rheims, 
on 18 August, 1582. At Laon, on 3 March, 1583, he 
received the subdiaconate, and on 7 April he returned 
there to be ordained deacon and priest. Three weeks 
later, on 21 April, he celebrated his first Mass, it 
being the custom in those days to defer the celebra- 
tion of a first Mass till some time after the ordination. 
It was on 4 May, 1583, that he left Rheims for the 
English Mission. To continue the narrative : — 

" Meeting with him again some four years after, 
I acquainted him where I lay myself ; where, to his 
welcome, at his first coming, the house was searched 
on All Souls Day, when Mr. Bavin was making a ser- 
mon. The pursuivants were Newall and Worseley ; 
but we all three escaped." 

This, the martyr's first adventure, occurred in all 
probability in the year 1583 — " some four years after " 
(i.e. his conversion). The house where Mr. Davis 


lay in hiding was the seat of Richard Bellamy, 
Esquire, of Uxenden Manor, Harrow-on-the-Hill, one 
of the most famous refuges for priests in the south 
of England. 

" After that he fell into a second danger in the time 
of the search for Babington and his company (of 
which tragedy Sir Francis Walsingham was the chief 
actor and contriver, as I gathered by Mr. Babington 
himself, who was with me the night before he was 
apprehended), and after he, Mr. Holford, had escaped 
two or three watches, he came to me ; and the next 
day, the house where I remained was searched, and 
we both escaped by a secret place which was made 
at the foot of the stairs where we lay, going into a 

The Babington conspiracy took place in the year 
1586, and in Topcliffe's famous '' Exceptions " ^ 
against some of the Catholic laity, we find an exag- 
gerated account of this incident, in his attack on 
Robert Bellamy : — 

*' No. 6. And Howlforde and Wingfilde [? Davis] 
were sent to Babington and Barnwell — the traitors — 
into the wood from Bellamy's house,^ when Babing- 
ton's treason was in hand." 

To this attack Richard Bellamy replied : — 

" The said Bellamy at the apprehension of Babing- 
ton and Barnwell, was called before Sir Edward 
Harbert, Knight, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Paine, and 
found clear concerning this article ". 

^ Exceptions to a petition in favour of the Catholics, presented 
to Lord Keeper Puckering. 
^At Uxenden. 


Mr. Davis calls this the '' second " danger, through 
which the martyr passed, and then proceeds to relate 
his arrest in Cheshire. From contemporary evidence,^ 
however, we learn that the capture in Cheshire pre- 
ceded the escape just related because it took place 
not later than 1585 while the Babington conspiracy 
was discovered in 1586. Mr. Davis continues : — 

" Which troubles being passed, Mr. Holford, the 
next year after, went into his own country, which 
was Cheshire, hoping to gain some of his friends 
there into the Catholic Church ; but there he was 
apprehended, and imprisoned in the castle of West 
Chester [i.e. Chester] ". 

He was arrested at Nantwich, some time before 
18 May, 1585, as we learn from a letter written 
by William Chadderton, the Protestant Bishop of 
Chester, to the Earl of Derby — one of the Privy 
Councillors, concerning : — 

" (i) The obstinacy of Holford, a seminary priest. 

" (ii) The necessity of renuing ye Ecclesiastical 

After some preliminary compliments, and a brief 
remark on the recent promotion of Charles Lord 
Howard to the command of the fleet, he continues : — 

" The Commissyon was never more needfull, for 
the country is full of semynares and the people are 
bolde and contemptuous. Of late, Mr. Sherif and 
Mr. Lyversage, being at the Nant Wyche, appre- 
hended one Holforde, a semynary, and examyed hym, 
but he wolde not confesse any matter of importance, 
notwithstandynge because he was suspycious, they 

^ The examination of the martyr in Cheshire. 


sent him to Chester, where I examyned hym, with 
the assystaunce of all the Justyces of peace present 
at this last Quarter Sessyons (for I durst not deale 
by Commissyon) and he confessed hymself to have 
been made priest in Fraunce, and to have come over 
purposely to perswade her majestie's subjects to the 
Catholyque faythe of the Churche of Rome, saying 
that he will not departe the Realme, but that either 
Tyburne or Boughton ^ shall have his Carcase, nether 
will he be perswaded by any meanes to the contrarye, 
whereupon we have committed him as a traytor to 
close prison etc. If your Lordship thinke good, you 
may advertise my Lords of hym, for he knowethe 
much, but will nether take othe, nor utter any thynge. 
I send yf Lordship Inclosed his examination and de- 
scription and so for this tyme with most humble 
Commendacions commyt your Lordship to the Al- 
mighty, Who longe kepe y"^ Lordship with much 
healthe and honor in his feare an her maiestie's most 
gracyous favor 

'' Chester, this 23rd of May 1585 
yJ" Lordship's most bounden assured and faythefull 
poore frend, always to commaund to my death. 

" W. Cestren : 

" Truly Mr. Sherif and Mr. Lyversage deserve great 
commendacion for there servyce. 


" May i8th, 27th year of Elizabeth's reign, be- 
fore the Bishop of Chester, Hugh Cholmondley, 

^ I.e. he was ready to suffer in London or at Great Boughton, 
two miles east of Chester. 


Rowland Standley, George Calveley, Knights, and 
other Justiciaries of the Queen our mistress, appointed 
to preserve the peace in the County of Cheshire. 

[So far in Latin.] 

" Thomas Holford of the age of xHiij yeares, being 
examined &c. . . . answereth that he was made a 
Canonicall Priest, according to the order of the Church 
of Rome, viz. of the Catholique Church, at a place 
called Lahounde [Laon] in France, but by what 
bishop, he knowethe not. Moreover, the said Hol- 
ford being examined for what cause he returned over 
into England &c. answereth, he came over into Eng- 
land of purpose to perswade the people to the Cath- 
olique faith of the Church of Rome, and to minister 
the Sacraments, according to the use thereof, which 
he hath done now by the space of ij yeares last past, 
for so long it ys since his last coming into England. 
Last of all being demaunded whether he would con- 
forme himself to her Maiestie's Lawes and come to 
the Church &c. ... he answereth that he will not, 
for that yt is against his conscience. 

"W. C. 

" The said Holforde is a tall, blacke, fatte, stronge 
man ; the crown of his head balde, his beard marque- 
zated ;i his apparrell was a blacke cloake with Murrey 
Lace,^ open at the shoulders, a straw coloured fustian 
doublet, laide on with red Lace, the buttons red, cut 
and laide under with redd Tafeta ; ash coloured hose, 
laid on with byllmit lace ^ cut and laide under with 

^ I.e. All shaven except the mustachios. 
^ I.e. of Mulberry — a dark red colour. 
^ I.e. habiliment lace, trimming, etc. 


blacke Tafeta ; a little blacke hatte, lyned with velvet 
in the brymmes, a falling band ^ and yellow knitted 

" [Endorsed.] Examination of Tho : Holford, Sem- 
inary Priest." 

To return to Mr. Davis's narrative : — 
*'. . . and from thence [i.e. Chester Castle] he was 
sent with two pursuivants (as I take it) to London, 
who lodging in Holborn at the sign of The Bell or The 
Exchequer (I do not remember whether) the good 
man rising about five in the morning, pulled on a 
yellow stocking upon one of his legs, and had his 
white boot hose on the other, and walked up and 
down the chamber. One of his keepers looked up 
(for they had drunk hard the night before and 
watched late) and seeing him there, fell to sleep 
again, which he perceiving went down into the hall. 
The tapster met him and asked him * What lack you 
gentleman — a shoeing horn ? ' ' Yea ' said he. The 
tapster showed him a horn tied to a string, but the 
tapster being gone Mr. Holforde went out and so 
down Holborn to the Conduit, where a Catholic 
gentleman meeting him (but not knowing him) 
thought he was a madman. Then he turned into the 
little lane into Gray's Inn-fields, which I think is 
called Turning lane, where he pulled off his stock- 
ing and boot hose. What ways he went afterwards — 
I know not ; but betwixt ten and eleven of the clock 
at night, he came to me where I lay, about eight 

^ A collar of cambric falling on the shoulders, as opposed to a 
ruff which stood out. 


miles from London.^ He had eaten nothing all that 
day. His feet were galled with gravel stones, and 
his legs all scratched with briars and thorns (for he 
dared not to keep to the highway) so that the blood 
flowed in some places. The gentleman and mistress 
of the house, caused a bath with sweet herbs to be 
made, and their two daughters washed and bathed 
his legs and feet ; after which he went to bed." 

One of these daughters was afterwards thrown into 
prison for her faith, which trial she endured bravely, 
until her jailer, taking advantage of her helplessness, 
violated her honour. The poor girl, overcome with 
shame, was eventually tempted into marrying her 
persecutor and into apostasy, much to her parents' 
sorrow. Her husband, the jailer, then forced her to 
turn informer, and even to betray her own family, in 
order to further his own interests. It was he who 
probably supplied the information concerning this 
little incident which is to be found in Topcliffe's Ex- 
ceptions against the name of Richard Bellamy which 
we have already mentioned. 

" No : 5 Howlforde, alias Acton, another semin- 
ary priest was harboured there (in Bellamy's house) 
when he fled from the sheriff's men of Cheshire out 
of the Strand, by the same token, that the maiden ^ 
in Bellamy's house did pick thorns out of his legs, 
gotten with running thither through hedges in the 
night, and. this Howlforde, alias Acton used to play 
at Tables with Richard Bellamy aforesaid." 

In reply to this Mr. Bellamy wrote: *' He (Bel- 

* Uxenden Manor, Harrow on the Hill. 
*^ The apostate daughter. 


lamy) knoweth not Howlforde, alias Acton, nor of 
any such, nor never heard of any such man ".^ 

To proceed with the story as given by Mr. Davis : — 

" After his escape he avoided London for a time, but 
the next [?] year 1588, he came to London to buy him 
a suit of apparel, at which time going to Mr. Swithin 
Well's House, near St Andrew's Church in Holborn 
to serve God (i.e. to say Mass) Hodgkins the pur- 
suivant espying him as he came forth, dogged him 
into his tailor's house and there apprehended him. 
He was executed on August 28th, at Clerkenwell." 

Here ends the relation of Mr. Davis, quoted by 
Bishop Challoner. 

The prison to which the martyr was conducted 
would be Newgate in all probability, since he was 
arrested in Holborn. Mr. Swithin Wells, from whose 
house he was followed, was a devout Catholic lay- 
man, who with his wife was condemned for harbour- 
ing priests. He was martyred in 1591, while his wife 
languished in prison till her death in 1602, after 
having spent ten years in Newgate. 

Mr. Holford fell a victim to the outbreak of per- 
secution which succeeded the Spanish Invasion. 
After a few months' imprisonment, as we may suppose, 
he was brought up for examination between 14 and 

^ To have confessed Topcliffe's charge true (if it were s.o), would 
have been to pronounce sentence of death against himself. Mr. 
Bellamy was not bound to do that. But, even if Mr. Davis's 
relation be true (as we suppose), it does not follow that Topcliffe's 
charge is also true, for Mr, Bellamy may have been away at the 
time. At all events he does not seem to have been further 
prosecuted on this score. 


20 August by order of the Privy Council, which at this 
time was carrying out a general examination of all 
religious prisoners. During this interrogation he 
confessed that he was a priest, and boldly declared 
that if to be priest in this land was treason against 
Her Majesty, he was guilty of such a crime. 

He was formally arraigned at the Old Bailey at 
the Newgate Sessions on either 26 or 27 August, 
before Sir George Bond, the Lord Mayor, and other 
justices. His guilt, such as it was, did not require 
much further examination to ascertain, and he was 
condemned to death for treasonably coming into the 
realm as a priest. 

He was executed at Clerkenwell on 28 August, 
1588, according to nearly all the accounts of the 
martyrdom.^ The Catholics who were condemned 

^ The fact of the execution of the martyr in or near London 
is amply testified by the following authorities: — 

(i.) The account of Mr. Davis — given above, who relates that 
he was executed at Clerkenwell on 28 August, 1588. (ii.) The 
Protestant historian Stow, who wrote at the latter end of the 
sixteenth century or at the beginning of the next, relates that T. 
Acton was executed at Clerkenwell, having been condemned at 
Newgate on 26 August, (iii.) The Stonyhurst Catalogue of 
Martyrs^ from 1587-94, written probably by Father John Gerard, 
the Jesuit, contains the following : " Thomas Holforde, alias 
Acton, preest, Chesheshire man, hanged only at Clerkenwell ". 
(iv.) Yepez, in his Historia del Persecucion written in 1591, says 
the same. 

On the other hand Father Christopher Grene is the only 
early writer on the martyrs who places the execution at Glou- 
cester. It is worth while noticing that the Stonyhurst Catalogue 
corroborates the fact that the martyr was only hanged and not 


at these sessions, fourteen in all, including eight lay- 
men and six priests, escaped the barbarous penalty 
of being bowelled and quartered, and thus the body 
of the martyr was not mutilated. 

The Venerable Thomas Holford is sometimes 
classed among the martyrs of Gloucestershire, on 
the evidence of a relation given by Father Grene in 
An Ancient Editor s Note Book. But from the account 
given by Mr. Davis, the connexion with Gloucester- 
shire is not obvious. 

Moreover the date of his martyrdom as given in 
this relation differs from that given by Mr. Davis, 
while the details, of it are contradicted elsewhere.-^ 
We may therefore conclude that Father Grene is 
writing of a martyr entirely distinct from the Vener- 
able Thomas Holford, alias Acton, and Mr. J. B. 
Wainewright has shown that this martyr was the 
Venerable John Sandys.^ Father Grene also refers 
to a relic of the martyr, whose death he has just 
described, in the following terms: "A gentleman in 
Gloucestershire, very much troubled and molested, 
long kept in prison, for having the bloody shirt of the 
blessed martyr, Mr. Holford, wherein he was exe- 
cuted ". Probably this also should refer to the 
Venerable John Sandys. 

J. c. 

Authorities. — Catalogue of Martyrs^ C.R.S. v. 10, 289. 
Arrest of Holford^ ibid. 108. Massacre of 1588^ ibid. 150. 

^ See A.E.M. p. 289, footnote, where reference is made to 
Grene's Collectanea N, i. n. 6, p. 65. 
- See above, p. 221. 


Penkevel's Relation^ A.E.M. 287. Dodd's Church History, 
vol. ii. Challoner. Foley, Records, iii. pp. 337-40. Morris, 
Troubles, Series ii. pp. 54, 58-60, and iii. 41, 42, 52. Gillow, 
Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. Stow's Annals. Yepez, Hist. Part. 
Douay Diaries. Oliver, Collections. 





Near Brentford, 28 August, 1588. 

On Wednesday, 28 August, 1588, there was momen- 
tarily dissolved on earth, only to be eternally re- 
formed in Heaven, a friendship of a few hours, or at 
most two days, intimate however with the intimacy 
of those who together suffer death for a noble cause. 
For, at some spot on the road between Brentford 
and Hounslow died for their faith, Thomas Felton, 
a Minim, and James Claxton, a priest, who had both 
on 26 August received sentence of death at Newgate 

Martyred son ^ of a martyred father, Thomas Fel- 

^ The basis of this account is the MS. relation of Felton's 
sister, preserved in Challoner's Missionary Priests. 

^ In a letter possibly by Father Southwell, translated in Yepez, 
Persecucion, Felton is termed " Sobrino del otre martir Felton ". 
" Sobrino " even in Spanish of this date cannot mean " son " 
but rather as in modern Spanish " nephew ". The suggested 



ton was born at Bermondsey Abbey, "in the parish 
of S. Mary Magdalene within a mile of Southwark, 
London, in Surrey," about the year 1567. He was 
but three years old when on 8 August, 1570, his father, 
Blessed John Felton, " a gentleman of approved re- 
solution and virtue," was hanged on a gallows in St. 
Paul's Churchyard for nailing to the door of the Ca- 
thedral the Bull of Excommunication fulminated by 
Pope St. Pius V against Queen Elizabeth.^ He was 
thus left to the charge of his mother who had been 
maid of honour to Queen Mary, one of whose auditors 
had been her first husband, and playfellow of Eliza- 
beth, in her childhood, '* for which cause Queen 
Elizabeth always bare a good affection unto her". 
''After the execution of her second husband Mr. Fel- 
ton, Queen Elizabeth, at her humble suit granted her 
liberty under her Letters Patent to keep a priest," ^ 
an inestimable boon to which no doubt Thomas Fel- 
ton owed his heroic faith. 

" After his apprehension, his whole substance, plate 
and jewels valued at ;£'33,ooo sterling, being forfeited 
to the Queen, "^ John Felton must have left his widow 
but poorly provided for, which, no doubt, accounts 
for the events of his son's childhood. *' Being yet a 
young youth," we read in a manuscript written by 
his sister Mrs. Salisbury (whose maiden name was 

relationship is isolated and probably a mistranslation, as Father 
Southwell in another letter {C.R.S. v. 327) says Bl. John Felton 
was /a/y^^r of Venerable Thomas Felton (Yepez, p. 161). 
^ See Lives of the English Martyrs^ vol. ii. pp. 1-13, 
"^ Grene, Collectanea E^ quoted in Pollen, Acts^ 
^ Grene. 


Frances Felton), fortunately preserved by Bishop 
Challoner, " he was taken by the old Lady Lovell to 
be her page. But not staying there long he was sent 
over to the English College at Rheims to be brought 
up in piety and learning." '* In both he profited so 
much" that on 23 September, 1583, at the age of six- 
teen, he was tonsured by Cardinal de Guise, Arch- 
bishop of Rheims. For some reason he is noted in 
the list of "tonsurati" as being of the diocese of 

After some time longer (probably at most a year 
and a few months) at the College, he left, and, with 
the commendation of Dr. Allen, the President of the 
English College, became a postulant of the Order of 
Minims of St. Francis of Paula. He is sometimes less 
correctly designated " O.S.F." and ''Friar Minor". 
He shortly after, however, returned to England, " his 
body not serving well for the strictness of that life," 
according to his sister's account ; " sent over by his 
superiors to dispose of his things and make provision 
for his profession," according to Father Gerard, who 
wrote about six years after his martyrdom. Attempt- 
ing to return to France, he was " stayed at the seaside 
by the officers and after examination sent up to London 
and committed to the Compter in the Poultry". 
Here he remained two years ^ until liberated by Court 

^ In the Relation of the Penkevels (Pollen, Acts^ p. 286) Peter 
Penkevel writes : " After I had remained two years at the Coun- 
ter, Mr. Felton & I were removed unto Newgate & put into the 
common gaol. After wearing of irons one day for fynes of iron, 
we were removed where my brother and the rest were in the 
crown side. ..." This would seem to indicate that Mr. Felton 



influence, which his aunt, Mrs. Blount, had with 
great trouble enlisted. Again attempting to reach 
Rheims, he was intercepted and committed to Bride- 
well and once more released '* after some time of 
durance," this time at the instigation of his former 
benefactress. Lady Lovell, now herself imprisoned in 
the Fleet for her religion. Within a few weeks the 
indomitable youth was back in Bridewell on the same 

" In this his imprisonment," recounts his sister, 
" he was very cruelly treated : For, first he was put 
into * Little Ease,' where he remained three days 
and three nights, not being able to stand, lie, or sit, 
and fed only with bread and water, as both the 
Keeper's wife and Thomas afterwards told his sister 
Frances Felton. After this he was put into the 
mill to grind and was fed no otherwise all the 
while he laboured in it, than he had been before in 
* Little Ease,' viz. with bread and water only. Then 
he was hanged up by the hands, to the end to draw 
from him, by way of confession, what priests he 
knew beyond the seas, or in England. Which 
punishment was so grievous, that therewith the blood 
sprung forth at his fingers ends. " A letter of Father 

was transferred to Newgate from the Compter, but the date of 
the above is 1 588 (Penkevel was incarcerated in 1 586). As there 
is no reference in Mrs. Salisbury's MS. to such a transference one 
may perhaps take Penkevel to mean : " After I had remained two 
years in the Counter, Mr. Felton from elsewhere (Bridewell) and 
I from the Counter were transferred to Newgate ". This would 
harmonize the accounts of Mrs. Salisbury and Penkevel and 
corroborate Father Southwell (see infra). 


Southwell, three days after the martyrdom of Thomas 
Felton, adds that he was also flogged, and Father 
Gerard says he was " verie ill used in Bridewell & 
almost lamed ". 

His courage, even after this terrible usage, is at- 
tested by his sister who tells a tale of a scene in 
Bridewell chapel which she herself witnessed, for 
though not at that time a Catholic, she had come to 
the prison to visit her brother. It happened that 
'* upon a Sunday, he was violently taken by certain 
officers and carried betwixt two, fast bound in a chair, 
into the Chapel at Bridewell to their service. He, 
having his hands at liberty, stopped his ears with his 
fingers that he might not hear what the minister said. 
They then bound down his hands also to the chair, 
but being set down to the ground, bound in the 
manner aforesaid, he stamped with his feet, & made 
that noise with his mouth, shouting and hollowing, 
and crying oft-times 'Jesus, Jesus,' that nothing 
the minister said could be heard by any then present 
at the service." 

From Bridewell he was transferred to Newgate,^ 
" where," says Father Southwell, *' he was thrust 
into the most darksome dungeon called Limbo and 
kept there in chains and shackles for 15 weeks ". 
This was during the period when all England was 
agog with excitement in regard to the far-famed 
Armada of Spain, then at sea bound for England. At 
the end of this time, when the Armada was gone, 
Thomas Felton, with five priests and seven other 

^ See pp. 401, 402, note. 
26 * 


laymen, took his stand at the bar in the Bartholomew- 
tide Sessions at Newgate. One of his fellow-prisoners, 
now on trial for their lives, was James Claxton, a 
priest, who was destined to lay down his life for God 
and His Church on the same scaffold as the young 

James Claxton, Clackston, Clarkson or Clarkeson, 
was a Yorkshire man, who, despite the death penalty 
incurred by priests in England, betook himself to the 
English College of Douay (then at Rheims), to study 
for the priesthood. Of his early life, his family, even 
of his age and date of entry into the College nothing 
is known. He persevered so well in his sacred studies 
as to be ordained deacon, being registered as of the 
diocese of York, on Holy Saturday, 14 April, 1582, 
and was elevated to the priesthood at Soissons on g 
June, saying his first Mass on the 21st of the same 
month. After thirty-three days of immediate pre- 
paration for the dangers of his future life he set out for 
England with Richard Evans, a fellow-priest, on 24 
July. From this moment he disappears into an ob- 
scurity similar to that of his earlier residence in Eng- 
land. He may have spent two and a half years amid 
the hazards of missionary toil or he may have been 
captured soon after his arrival and incarcerated for 
the whole of this period, we know not. All that is 
certain is that he was apprehended and imprisoned 
at some date before 1585 ; for after enduring *' a daily 
series of sufferings (injuriarum) " he was condemned 
to perpetual exile in that year. Records tell us 
nothing of where he spent his exile or how long it 


endured, but it is unlikely that the intrepid mission- 
ary remained long abroad. By August, 1588, he had 
been once more captured by the persecutors and lodged 
in the Marshalsea. On the 26th he was brought to 
trial at Newgate. 

About ten days earlier the prisoners had undergone 
an examination ordered by the Privy Council under 
date 14 August. In the list of replies in the hand- 
writing of Serjeant (afterwards Sir John) Puckering 
figure the names of Felton and Claxton, the former 
indicted for the " felony " (as appears from an annota- 
tion by Lord Burghley) of being " reconciled," the 
latter for the " treason " of his priesthood. The grim 
abbreviation " sus " or " susp " (= suspendatur), " let 
him be hanged," prefixed to each name indicates the 
merely formal nature of the later trial at Newgate. 
It was a case of — 

How in the mom they hang and draw, 
And sit in judgment after. 

The prominent feature of the trial was the putting ol 
the " bloody question " ^ to the prisoners, a proceed- 
ing for which there was no warrant in English law. 
The Armada had just been defeated and the accused 
were interrogated " whether they would have taken 
the queen's part, or the Pope's and the Spaniards', 
if those forces had landed". Felton replied that 
" he would have taken the part of God and his 
country ". Claxton's response may be inferred from 
the cancellation in Puckering's notes of the former 
examination, of the words "take the Q part," pro- 
bably an earlier promise retracted upon considera- 
^ For the "bloody question " see Introduction, § ii. 


tion. Felton was further asked "whether he did 
acknowledge the Queen to be the supreme Head of 
the Church of England," to which Felton replied, 
" That he had read divers chronicles, but never read 
that God ordained a woman should be supreme 
Head of the Church ". For this, though but twenty 
or twenty-one years of age, he received sentence on 
Tuesday, 27 August, 1588, for the crime of treason. 
Although at the previous examination he had refused 
pardon his friends obtained another reprieve after his 
condemnation. This was brought to him the next 
afternoon immediately before he set out for the place 
of execution. He rejected it, probably because, as 
Bishop Challoner suggests, it contained some clause 
he could not in conscience accept. In the words of 
his sister, he chose '* rather to die for God than to live 
any longer in this world ". 

Thomas Felton was taken back from Newgate to 
Bridewell for his last night on earth. Whether 
James Claxton accompanied him, remained in New- 
gate, or returned to the Marshalsea is unknown. If 
either of the latter, he was transferred the next day 
to Bridewell, for '' about four of the clock in the after- 
noon they were carried together from Bridewell on 
horseback " to some spot variously described as " at 
Brentford," "near Brentford," or usually ''between 
Brentford and Hounslow ". The most probable site 
of their passion was the junction of the Twickenham 
and Bath roads, now termed " Bush' Corner ". Here 
they were ''presently" (i.e. immediately) hanged. 
Their bodies were not, as was usual, disembowelled 
or quartered. 


No details are known of the manner of their death 
except that Father Southwell tells us " In his sorest 
distress " Felton " was consoled by the thought that he 
would close his life by a death like his father's," and 
that when the time of his reward came '* such an 
example of modesty and purity did he give that 
several people were deeply moved by the very sight 
of him ". That James Claxton was not behind him 
in this we may well believe. 

Thus died the last of the eight martyrs who suffered 
on this day, 28 August, 1588, for their Faith in Lon- 
don or its immediate neighbourhood. 

F. K. McC. 

Authorities. — Southwell to Aquaviva, C.R.S. 321-8. Pen- 
kevel's Relation^ A.E.M. 287. Douay Diaries^ 199. Catalogue 
of Martyrs, C.R.S. 289. Catalogue of Martyrs, C.R.S. 288, and 
10, 34, 154, 193. Fleetwood, etc., to Privy Council, C.R.S. 151. 
Mrs. Frances Salisbury s Account in Challoner. Yepez, Hist, 



Tyburn, 30 August, 1588. 

This martyr was descended from a Cambridgeshire 
family^ and was born in London in or about the 
year 1561. With Robert Pilkington ^ he entered the 
English College, which was then at Rheims, on 
16 October, 1581.^ His stay was a short one ; for 
we find that he was sent, 3 September, 1582, with 
six others^ to the English College at Rome. In a 

C.R.S. V. p. 290. Catalogue of Martyrs from 1587-94. 

^ Robert Pilkington was ordained priest and sent into England 
in 1583. He was subsequently exiled. 

^ For this and following dates see Douay Diaries, and Foley, 
Diary and Pilgrim Book of the English College, Rojne. 

^ In Dr. Allen's letter Edmund Calverly, a confessor of the 
faith, is added to the six names found in the Douay Diaries. 
Among these names are Matthew Kellison, afterwards president 
of Douay College ; Robert Jones, a distinguished Jesuit, Superior 
of the Mission in England 1609-15 ; and Richard Saire, evid- 
ently the same person as Robert Sayers who became a monk at 
Monte Cassino and was the author of some theological works. 
See Foley, Diary and Pilgrijn Book of the English College, 
Rome, also cf. Douay Diaries. 



letter^ to Father Agazzario, S.J., the rector, Dr. 
William Allen, afterwards Cardinal, recommends 
them as the best students in the college ; and he 
describes Richard Leigh in particular as nobilis, in- 
signis ingenii. Richard Leigh and his companions 
were entertained at the English Hospice, and on 6 
November were admitted to the college. Here he 
continued his theological studies, which he had al- 
ready commenced at Rheims, being now twenty-one 
years of age. On the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, 
1583, he took the following mission oath then in use : — 

*' I do swear upon the Holy Scriptures, that I will 
ever be ready at the order of the Sovereign Pontiff, 
or other lawful Superior of this College, to embrace 
the ecclesiastical life, to take Holy Orders, and to 
proceed to England for the aid of souls ". 

Having received the subdiaconate and the diaconate 
in 1585, he was raised to the priesthood in February 
of the following year. A short time elapsed before his 
return to Rheims, where he arrived 12 June. Four 
days later he was sent on the English Mission to- 
gether with Thomas Stanny,^ William Watson, Mar- 
tin Sherson and Edmund Sykes, who all witnessed 
to the faith of the Church by suffering imprisonment 
or martyrdom. In England Richard Leigh assumed 

^ Letters and Memorials of Cardinal Allen. 

"^ Thomas Stanny entered the Society of Jesus in 1 597. About 
the year 1603 he was thrown into prison, and in 1606 was sent into 
banishment with forty-six other priests and Jesuits. For WilHam 
Watson see under Venerable John Roche and Venerable Mar- 
garet Ward. Martin Sherson died in bonds, 1587. Edmund 
Sykes was martyred in the same year. 


the name of Garth. Within a few months he fell 
into the hands of the persecutors : he was betrayed 
sometime before Christmas, 1586, by the apostate 
priest Anthony Tyrrell, who was employed by Justice 
Young to entrap Catholics. Anthony Tyrrell in his 
Confessions thus describes the incident ^ : — 

" And I bewrayed a brother of my own profession, I 
mean another priest repairing to our lodging called 
Garth, whom I discovered to Justice Young, and in- 
formed that he haunted much about the stocks at one 
Mr. Cadner's, whereupon the house was searched, but 
the man was not found. ... I discovered both Mr. 
Garth's and Mr. Greene's going into Kent, and caused 
a pursuivant to be sent after them. I discovered 
the places that probably I thought they would be at. 
I discovered my being at a house not far from Lyon 
Key, who dwelt there, who did lie there, who fre- 
quented thither, and of the secret place to hide 
priests ; but the search I stayed for a time, because 
I would not be discovered myself. 

*' All this I did before Christmas hoHdays, and then 
at that feast I discovered where I was myself upon 
Christmas Day, and what else I did know of any 
importance of any place or persons." 

In consequence of his arrest Richard Leigh was 
sent into banishment ; but he returned within a short 
time. It would seem that now he adopted another 
pseudonym, viz. Earth, under which name he is found 
in the Relation of the Penkevels. 

Richard Leigh and a young Catholic named Ralph 

^ Morris, Troubles^ ii. p. 439. 


Ashley^ were at Paul's Cross, 31 January, 1588, when 
a curious scene was enacted. Anthony Tyrrell had 
again fallen under the influence of the persecutors, 
who required him to make a public declamation 
against the Catholic Faith. His conscience, however, 
gave him no peace ; and he determined instead to 
make a public abjuration of heresy. But knowing 
what would ensue, he prepared some copies of his 
speech that he might cast them among the people. 
When he began to speak, his purpose soon became 
apparent ; but before he was pulled down from the 
pulpit and silenced, he scattered a few copies of his 
speech among the people. It chanced that one of 
these copies fell into the hands of Richard Leigh and 
Ralph Ashley, who, in spite of a prohibition to read 
or retain these papers, went to a gentleman's chamber 
of the Middle Temple, and caused divers copies to be 
struck and spread among Catholics for their comfort 
throughout the kingdom. ^ 

Richard Leigh's missionary labours now quickly 
drew to a close. The exact time and manner of his 
second arrest is unknown. He was, indeed, moved 
from his first place of confinement to the Tower for 
speaking with other prisoners, as the following ex- 
tract from the prison lists ^ shows: ^* July iiij 1588 
Richard Leighe preest prisoner iiij weeks taken in the 

^ Presumably the future martyr of this name, who suffered at 
Worcester, 7 April, 1606. 

^Anthony Tyrrell again apostatized after enduring a severe 
imprisonment. He lived many years as a Protestant minister. 
But he ended his days in Belgium and died a Catholic. 

^ C.R.S. ii. p. 282. 


Tower for speaking w^h prisonners, examined by me 
(Sir Owen Hopton ?) and Mr. Shelton and afterwards 
by the Q's Atturney and mee, and his Examinacons 
remaine wh Mr. Atturney [to ye K. bench — B] ".^ On 
26 August he was tried at the Sessions Hall without 
Newgate and condemned to death, because he was a 
priest under the Act of 27 Eliz. cap. 2. Father Robert 
Southwell ^ in a Letter to Father General Claudius 
Aquaviva describes at length some events^ which 
occurred at the trial : " Amongst other incidents at 
the trials, a striking instance of heretical pride was 
witnessed. Amongst the rest there present was 
[Aylmer] the pseudo-bishop of London, a man more 
venerable for age than for conduct, which on every 
occasion is so peculiarthat he makes himself ridiculous 
even to the followers of his own sect. This man mak- 
ing an attack on a lay prisoner on the subject of 
religion, the latter referred him to the priest for 
an answer. Richard Leigh took up the argument, 
and challenged him to public disputation. Thereupon 
that Pharisee exclaimed * Dost thou set up thyself 

^ In the Tower Bills dated Michaelmas, 1 588, are found the 
demands of Sir Owen Hopton, knight, for the maintenance of 
prisoners, one of whom was Rychard Leighe. The bill is 
worded thus : " Rychard Leighe. Item &c., beginninge the 
seconde of Julye, 1588, and endinge the xxvj'h of August then 
next foUowinge, beeing viij weekes [rate as last] — viij'» xviijs 
viij'l." The rate being " xiij^ iiijd the week, for him selfe. One 
keeper at v^ the week. Fewell and candell at iiij^ the weeke." 
{C.R.S. iii. pp. 27, 28.) 

^ C.R.S. V. p. 326. 

^ Also recorded by Bishop Yepez who calls Richard Leigh a 
learned priest. See Historia Particular^ Book v. ch. i. p. 607, 


against me ? Of a truth thou seemest to act after 
the fashion of Alexander's dog, which despising bears 
and vulgar animals of that sort, did not even growl 
when it saw them, but would at once bark if it caught 
sight of an elephant, thinking that noble animal was 
alone deserving of its attention. I am the elephant 
and thou the puppy. What right hast thou to dis- 
pute with me, who in extent of reading and depth of 
intellect surpass even your Dr. Allen ? ' By which 
words the conceited fellow provoked a laugh not only 
from our martyrs but from the whole assembly." 

Richard Leigh ^ was executed at Tyburn, 30 August, 
and Venerable Henry Walpole has described the 
martyrdom in his Relation^ at some length. ''Mr. 
Richard Lee (Leigh) priest, brought forth of New- 
gate to be executed with 4 other catholics, who de- 
manded his benediction, which he gave unto them 
and likewise unto others that stood about the cart 
desiring God to make them all partakers. . . . Then 
being drawn to Tyburn (they all sang their service 
by the way), after long speech Mr. Lee desired to 
have respite to make his petitions unto God. Being 
in his meditations, his colour changed and his legs 
began to bend, insomuch that it was already thought 
that his soul had been already in heaven ; whereupon 
Topcliffe cried out very loud saying, ' Lee, Lee ! ' 

^ In the list of persons to be executed for London under the 
heading, "Preests Treason" by the side of Richard Leigh's 
name are the words, " sus. — ne resp cul " {C.R.S. v. p. 1 54). This 
probably means " Ne responds [pas], culpable, — suspendatur," 
Will not answer [the bloody question]. Guilty. Let him be hanged. 

^ AcfSf p. 306. Leigh had five, not four, companions in 


divers times, ' it is the devil that doth deceive thee '. 
The hangman pulHng him by the sleeve, he came to 
himself, and looking about demanded what the matter 
was. Then being asked whether that the Queen 
were Supreme Head of the Church, he answered 
* No ! ' and the people crying, * Away with him ! ' the 
carts were drawn away ; and so died he and the four 
others also not quartered." 

In the Harleian Miscellany, 1809, vol. ii., there is 
found a reprint of " The Copie of a Letter sent out of 
England to Don Bernadin Mendoza, Ambassador in 
France for the king of Spain, declaring the State of 
England, contrary to the opinion of Don Bernadin, 
and of all his Partisans, Spaniards and others ; found 
in the Chamber of one Richard Leigh, a Seminary 
Priest, who was lately executed for high-treason ; 
With Appendix. Imprinted at London by J. Vaut- 
rollier, for Richard Field, MDLXXXVIII." This 
is in reality written by Lord Burghley against the 
Catholics, as has been explained in the Introduction. 

W. R. 

Authorities. — The dates of this martyr's life are to be found 
chiefly in the Douay Diaries, pp. 183, 190, 211 bis, 263; and 
in Foley's Diary and Pilgrim Book of the English College^ 
Rome, pp. 125, 156, 157. Letters and Memorials of Cardinal 
Allen, ^. 158. C.R.S. Miscellanea II. vol. n., Prison Lists, p. 
282 ; Miscellanea III, vol. iii.. Tower Bills, pp.27, 28 ; English 
Martyrs, 1584-1603, vol. v. ; Sir John Puckering's list of Persons 
to be Executed, p. 1 54 ; Catalogue of Martyrs, I58y-I5g4, p. 290. 
Letter of Father Robert Southwell, SJ., to Father General 
Claudio A^uaviva, dsLted 31 August, 1588, pp. 322, 323, 326. 
Morris, Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers, Series ii.. Fall of 


Anthony Tyrrell^ pp. 439, 487-96. Pollen, Acts of English 
Martyrs^ Relation of the Penkennels \Penkevels'\ of the Sufferings 
in England^ is 84-1^ gi, p. 287 ; Relation by the Venerable Father 
Henry Waipole, pp. 306, 307. Challoner, Memoirs of Mission- 
ary Priests, 1 74 1, Part I, pp. 219-21. Yepez, Historia Parti- 
cular de la Persecucion de Inglaterra, 1 599, Book v., chap. i. 
especially p. 607. Harleian Miscellany, 1809, vol. ii. pp. 60-85. 
Gillow, Bibliographical Dictionary. 



Tyburn, 30 August, 1588. 

This martyr belonged to the Warminghurst branch 
of the distinguished Sussex family,^ from which the 
Shelleys of Castle Goring and Percy Bysshe Shelley, 
the poet, were also descended. He was probably the 
youngest son of Edward Shelley of Warminghurst 
and a grandson of Sir John Shelley of Michelgrove. 
That the Shelleys were good Catholics is shown by 
the fact that several members of the family entered 
religion, five joining the Society of Jesus, four be- 
coming secular priests, and three as nuns consecrating 
their virginity to God.^ Unfortunately very little is 
known about this martyr at all. In 1626 the Bishop 
of Chalcedon was making inquiries about those who 
had suffered for the faith, and among others Edward 
Shelley's nephew, Benjamin Norton, was furnishing 

^Berry's Sussex Genealogies, pp. 62-70. C.R.S. v. p. 290. 
Catalogue of Martyrs from i^SS-i^g^. 

"^ In the first diary of Douay College (p. 20) there is mention of 
a namesake of the martyr being ordained in 1612 with Father 
Edmund Arrowsmith, S.J. 



information. He wrote to the Bishop : " I have spoken 
first and written since to Mr. Archdeacon Shelley . . . 
with all, according to [your] Lordshippes direction, 
I desired him to enquire after Mr. Thomas Garnett 
Jesuit and priest a Sussex man, and after my unckle 
Mr. Richard Shelley whoe marryed my Aunte and was 
executed abought London " (C.R.S. v. 395). If this, 
as seems likely, was our martyr, it shows, first that he 
was a married man, and secondly that, during the forty 
years which had elapsed, even his relatives had be- 
come confused as to his Christian name. 

The first definite mention we have of him is the 
record of his arrest and committal to the Clink Prison 
early in the year 1584 on the charge of dispersing 
"traiterous books ".^ A copy of the book " my Lord 
of Leicester's Commonwealth" had also been found in 
his possession. That he was regarded as a particu- 
larly zealous Catholic is shown by the report which 
Topcliffe and others made to the Privy Council on 
18 March, 1584. In this document they record that 
they had recently examined " divers Seminarie priests, 
recusants and dispersers of traiterous bookes and 
others of the same kinde". In this report Edward 
Shelley is picked out with two other laymen and four 
priests as specially dangerous. To these seven the 
interrogatory which became known as '' the bloody 
question" was administered with results which the re- 
port thus describes : — ^ 

^CR.S. ii. p. 395, Prison Lists^ also v. p. 105. Topcliflfe's 
Report on Catholic Prisoners. 

^C,P,S. V, p. 105. See also Introduction, § ii, 



" In which examinacions wee have not dealt with 
them concerning any point of rehgion whereof to take 
advantage or to increase the straitenes of their im- 
prisonment, neither have committed any of them to 
close prison, but only such as uppon our consciences 
we knowe unworthy to live under her Maiesties pro- 
tection. Of which sort are Christopher Tailby and 
William Bennet priests, Leonard Hide and William 
Wiggs Seminary Priests, Rafe Emmerson, Edward 
Shelley and Thomas Weblie dispersers of traiterous 
books. Eche one of them being so farre from acknow- 
ledging theire former faultes, that being demaunded 
whether the Pope had done well in excommunicating 
her Majesty, in pronouncing her noe lawful Queen, 
in discharging her Subjects from their obedience to 
her, in moving them to take armes against her, and 
thereuppon being offered theire othe, theire answers 
are, they will not sweare, or els they will not answer, 
or els they knowe not. 

**And being further demaunded whose part they 
would take, if any Saunders, Erie of Westmerland, 
or the like, authorised by the pope, should by force 
assaile her Maiestie or her dominions, they answer 
that they would take part with the Catholickes, or 
els when the time cometh, then they will tell us, and 
most of them denye or refuse to Sweare y* they bee Queene 
Elizabeth's lawfull or trew subiects. Of all which wee 
have thought good to certifie your Lordships to th' 
end that, knowing of our proceedings with them, you 
maie in your godly wisedomes consider [oppose can- 
celled] the truth hereof certified under our handes 
against th' untruth of such libellers and supplica- 


tioners, who albeit theie speak faier, yet they seeme 
to Carrie fowle and traiterous harts, and if they hurt 
not, it is not for want of will to attempt it, but for 
lacke of force to accomplish it." 

In the same year many of the priests who were 
Edward Shelley's fellow-captives were deported into 
exile ; but there is nothing to show whether he was 
set at liberty or not. It may be conjectured that he 
was ; for when he was brought to trial in 1588, it was 
on the express charge of harbouring William Dean, 
one of these priests thus exiled. William Dean, as 
we know, shortly returned to England, and it seems 
to have been at this time that he was succoured by 
Mr. Shelley. There is no evidence of another arrest ; 
but on 26 August, 1588, he was standing at the bar 
of the Old Bailey on trial for his life. In Puckering's 
Notes of the Evidence against those who were to be 
tried for their religious convictions, the following 
entr>^ is found : *' Middlesex, Receyver of Preests. 
susp. Edward Shelley apud East Smithfield." This 
bears out the statement in Sir John Puckering's 
papers, " Edward Shelley nuper de London Generosus, 
was condemned and executed for receiving aiding 
and comforting of one William Deane a Seminarye 
Preiste *'. 

Therefore Venerable Henry Walpole, who was 
martyred in 1595, may have been substantially, 
though not legally, correct, when in his recollections 
of the Martyrs he stated that Mr. Shelley was " con- 
demned for keeping of the book called my Lord of 
Leicester's Commonwealth ". 

The original suggestion that the martyr should 
27 * 


suffer at East Smithfield was not adhered to, and on 
30 August, he was carried to Tyburn with the Vener- 
able Richard Leigh and four other martyrs, as has 
already been described. As to his age authorities 
differ. In Volume E of Father Grene's Collections,'^ 
his age is given as forty-eight, and he is called Ed- 
mund Shelley. On the other hand, Venerable Henry 
Walpole in his Relation describes him at the time of 
his martyrdom as " a man of 50 or 60 years of age ". 
Henry Foxwell, who was condemned with Moore 
and Shelley, recanted and was pardoned. This 
indicates that our martyrs too might have escaped 
if they had not been constant in their faith. 

W. R. 

Authorities. — C.R.S. Miscellanea II, vol. ii.. Prison List, 
p. 295 ; English Martyrs, i 584-1 60 j, vol. v. ; Report to the 
Council on Catholic Prisoners and Others, 18 March, 1585, pp. 
105, 106 ; Sir John Puckering's list of " Persons to be Executed," 
p. 154; Record of the Trials of Moore, Shelley and Foxwell, 
p. 158 ; Letter of Benjamin Norton to the Bishop of Chalce- 
don, 6 May, 1626, p. 395. Foley, Records of the English Pro- 
vince, SJ.i Series xii. pp. 784 foil. Pollen, Acts of English 
Martyrs, Venerable Henry Walpole's Relation, p. 307. Morris, 
Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers, Series i. An Ancient 
Editor's Note Book, p. 39. 

^ Morris, Troubles, iii. p. 39 ; An Ancient Editor's Note Book. 



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Tyburn, 30 August, 1588. 

Very little is known of this martyr, who is shrouded 
in obscurity. The first chronological notice of him 
appears in the A thence, Oxonienses of Anthony a Wood. 
In the beginning of his Fasti he explains that they 
are Academical Annals containing the names of vari- 
ous distinguished people ; and under the seventh 
heading come martyrs for the Roman Catholic or 
Protestant cause, who have been admitted to one or 
more degrees. In 1583 sixty-seven persons proceeded 
Master of Arts, among whom was our martyr. The 
day of his admission to this degree was 12 De- 
cember, as the following notice shows : " Dec. 12. 
Richard Martin of Broadgates Hall (now Pembroke 
College). — He was not the same with Richard Mar- 
tin, who was afterwards Recorder of London, but 
another of little, or no, note." From the Catalogue 
of Martyrs, 1587-1594, ascribed to Father Gerard, S.J., 
the fact is gleaned that he was a Shropshire man. 

Nothing more can be ascertained concerning him, 
until he fell into the hands of the persecutors. In 



Sir John Puckering's list of " Persons to be Exe- 
cuted " his name appears with Venerable Richard 
Lloyd and Venerable John Roche in the following 
entry : " Receavers and Mainteiners of Preests — 
* Felony.' Susp. i. Richard lloyde — [take the Q part 
— cancelled.] [2. Richard Marten — not yet piit — 
cancelled]. 2. Richard M^ten — cul reconcyled. Susp. 
3. John Roch — cul. susp." In a certificate from New- 
gate the words " reprie per mes notes " are found 
after his name. It would seem, therefore, that Rich- 
ard Martin had made a confession of being reconciled 
to the Catholic Church. The author of the above 
mentioned catalogue of martyrs relates that he was 
executed only for being in the company of Mr. Robert 
Morton, priest, and paying sixpence for his supper. 
There is another story in volume E of Father Grene's 
Collections, assigning as the cause of his martyrdom 
relief given to a priest, named Horner, which is repro- 
duced in the life of the Venerable Richard Flower. 
He was executed at Tyburn on 30 August, 1588, to- 
gether with three other laymen, Venerable Richard 
Flower, Venerable Edward Shelley and Venerable 
John Roche ; with a priest. Venerable Richard 
Leigh, and Venerable Margaret Ward, one of the 
four women who are numbered among the English 

Ribadeneira,^ in connexion with the martyrdoms, 
which took place at this time, narrates some stories. 
As the martyrs were being dragged to execution, a 
lady exhorted them to endure their torments with 
patience and constancy. Then throwing herself at 
^ Ribadeneira, Appendix Schism. Angl. 1 590, p. 5. 


their feet, she begged for a blessing. Whereupon 
she was at once seized and thrown into prison. An- 
other Catholic, full of fervour at the sight of priests 
and laymen being led to the scaffold, made the sign 
of the cross. And he, amidst shouting and tumult, 
was taken away to prison. A still more remarkable 
story is related. When the rope was to be put on 
the neck of one of the martyrs, from the ladder he 
besought the people that, if there were any Catholics 
present, they would commend him to God. The 
Catholic bystanders, therefore, secretly prayed for 
him. One Catholic, however, more zealous than the 
rest, knelt down in the presence of all and prayed 
on his behalf, to the great encouragement of the 
martyr and the confusion of the persecutors, who in 
their rage led him away to be punished and tortured. 
The substance of these stories is also to be found in 
a letter of Father Robert Southwell, S.J., to Father 
General Claudio Aquaviva, dated 31 August, 1588. 

W. R. 

Authorities. — Wood's AthencB Oxonienses^ Fasti, vol. i. 
column 125. C.R.S. English Martyrs^ 1584-1603^ vol. v. p. 
290 ; Sir John Puckering's list of " Persons to be Executed," p. 
1 54, C.R.S. Southwell to Aquaviva^ v. pp. 324, 327. A Certificate 
from Newgate sent by Mr. Sebroke to the Lord Keeper^ Sir 
John Puckering., p. 159. For the stories concerning the martyr- 
doms, see Ribadeniera, Appendix Schism. Angl. 1590, chap, 
i. p. 5 ; and the letter of Father Robert Southwell, S.J., to Father 
General Claudio Aquaviva, in the same volume of the C.R.S. as 
above cited, pp. 324, 327. Yepez, Historia Particular de la 
persecucion de Inglaterra, I599> Book V, chap. i. pp. 610, 611. 




Tyburn^ 30 August^ 1588. 

It is from one of the Stonyhurst MSS., published in 
the fifth volume of the Catholic Record Society, that 
we derive most of our knowledge concerning Richard 
Lloyd, who was also called Floyd, Flud, Graye, and 
also Flower, by which latter name he is styled in the 
decree of beatification. This MS. is a memorial to 
Owen Lloyd, a priest, and to his brother, the venerable 
martyr. While a fuller sketch is drawn of the priest, 
not a little information is given concerning Venerable 
Richard Lloyd. The writer of the paper is evidently 
a kinsman ; for in conclusion he thus invokes the 
martyr : — 

O pride and glory of the Cambrian race 
Pray for thy people and thy country : 
Pray for thy mother, and for thy two surviving sisters, 

For all thy relatives and dear ones. 
Pray, too, for the luckless one, thy servant, kinsman, friend. 
For me, united am I by race to thee on earth, unite me to thee 
in heaven. 
Enjoy the kingdom in the skies which is thine for ever, 
And accept a greeting, such as is given to none on earth. 



In another place, speaking of Owen Lloyd, he 
says : — 

Thus by the death of one I am in this world bereaved of three. 
I mourn the dead, veneration is due to him as to a Father. 
I mourn my loved one, a companion like to a brother. 
Oh how that pains me now, which was wont to delight me, 
The surname taken from him, — our kinship. 

Richard Lloyd was younger than Owen Lloyd, 
who with his mother and two sisters outlived him. 
Descended from a noble family in Anglesea, Richard 
was probably born in that isle about the year 1566. 
Possessed of brilliant talents and endowed with the 
best natural gifts, he imbibed with ardour the doc- 
trines of Christianity, which his brother Owen taught 
him ; and he acquired a considerable knowledge of 
the wisdom of this world. That he was known as a 
zealous Catholic as early as the year 1584 is evident 
from the fact of his being specially mentioned as one 
of " the chiefest relievers of priests," in " A brief note 
of such things as have specially to be considered," 
which is attached to the " Interrogations admin- 
istered tO' Thomas Dodwell relative to Seminary 
priests, and his connexion with them before and after 
his being at Rheims ". The passage in which his 
name occurs is as follows : ^ " There is in the 
Marshalsea certain persons whom they call divi- 
dents, because they divide that equally amongst the 
priests which is sent, they know from whom this 

^ Dom. Eliz. vol. clxviii. n. 35. Foley, Records of the English 
Province^ SJ. Diary and Pilgrim Book of the English 
College^ Rome^ p. 727. 


exhibition cometh, and who are the chiefest relievers 
of priests, the names of such are Pierpointe, now 
prisoner in the Tower, Weston, and Graye ". There 
is only one other instance on record of his being 
styled Graye. In the enclosure of ^' A certificate 
from Newgate " he is mentioned as " Richarde Floyde 
als Graye " along with the other martyrs put to 
death at Tyburn on 30 August, 1588. 

Now it was in this year that Richard Lloyd was 
arrested in London during the persecution, which 
was instigated by the Earl of Leicester. The record 
of the indictment against him is preserved in an 
enclosure of a letter, containing the orders of the 
Privy Council for the prosecution of Venerable James 
Harrison and Thomas Heath. William Horner, a 
priest, who was ordained in 1579, received aid from 
and was lavishly entertained by Richard Lloyd in 
the parish of St. Dunstan in the west, in the ward of 
Farringdon, then outside London. Father Grene, 
who died in 1697, in volume E of his Collections 
has transcribed this account of the event : — ^ 

"And whereas by statute all that wittingly and 
willingly shall receive, relieve, aid, or comfort a 
Seminary priest, are felons, the law is taken so hard 
in that behalf, as Mr. Martin (Ven. Richard Martin) 
and Mr. Floyd were indicted, condemned, and exe- 
cuted for relieving one Mr. Horner, alias Forest, a 
priest, the one only giving him a quart of wine, the 
other a supper, notwithstanding that the supposed 
priest was neither in hold, condemned nor outlawed, 

^ Morris, Troubles^ iii. p. 34. 


and so uncertain to the judge and jury whether a 
priest or no, or whether such a priest as the statute 
forbids, not conformed, &c. Whereas by law such 
aiders, and relievers, which are but offenders in a 
second degree, ought not to be arraigned before the 
principal in the highest degree has been condemned." 

Serjeant, afterwards Sir John, Puckering, entered 
his name on the list of *' Persons to be Executed," as 
a receiver and maintainer of priests, with the words 
added, *' take the Q. part ". This is cancelled, which 
probably indicates that he at first agreed to the 
" bloody question " (or seemed to do so), then refused 
it. He was executed at Tyburn on 30 August, 1588, 
in about the twenty-second year of his age. 

His brother, Owen Lloyd, was a confessor of the 
faith. Having spent ten years in doing excellent 
missionary work, he was betrayed and imprisoned in 
London. After six months' confinement he was 
ransomed. It would seem that yearning after the 
martyr, his brother, hastened his end. He fell ill, 
and, owing to the ingratitude of some unknown 
persons and the iniquity of the times, he was carried 
with great risk into a poor man's hut, where he died 
on 22 March, 1590 (1591?), in about the forty-fifth 
year of his age. 

W. R. 

Authorities.— Ci?. 6". English Martyrs^ is 84-1 603, vol. v. 
pp. 194-8 ; Stony hurst MSS., Anglia, i., n. 39, f. 84 ; Sir John 
Puckering's list of " Persons to be Executed," p. 154 ; a certificate 
from Newgate sent by Mr. Sebroke to the Lord Keeper, Sir 
John Puckering, p. 1 59 ; Orders of Privy Council for the Pro- 
secution of James Harrison and Thomas Heathy 12 September, 


1588, p. 164, Record Office, Dom. Eliz. ccxvi. n. 22. Foley, 
Records of the English Province^ SJ.^ Diary and Pilgrim Book 
of the English College^ Rome, p. 727, Dom. Eliz. vol. clxviii. n. 
35. Morris, Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers ; An Ancient 
Editor's Note Book, p. 34- 





Tyburn, 30 August, 1588. 

Recent research has added very little to the sub- 
stance of the history of these martyrs as narrated by 
Challoner in his Memoirs of Missionary Priests. Nev- 
ertheless there are two interesting identifications:^ 
in the first place, the priest whom Challoner calls 
Richard Watson is none other than William Watson, 
the author of the Quodlibets, who was executed with 
another priest named Clarke in 1603 for plotting 
against King James I ; secondly, the waterman, un- 
named by Challoner, who exchanged clothes with 
William Watson, thus enabling him to escape, is the 
Venerable John Roche.^ 

^ Pollen, Acfs, Preface. 

* The query of T. G. Law in his article on the " Martyrs of the 
year of the Armada" {Month, January, 1879, P* 7^)? ^s to the 
possibility of Symons alias Harrison being the same person as 
John Hoche, may now be answered in the negative. 



The story of these two martyrs is centred round 
William Watson,^ who was a native of the diocese 
of Durham and an alumnus of the English College 
of Rheims. In the Douay Diaries there are records 
of his receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, the 
tonsure and four minor orders, the subdiaconate, dia- 
conate and priesthood. He was sent into England 
on 16 June, 1586, with Richard Leigh and three other 
priests. As Richard Leigh fell into the hands of the 
persecutors before the end of the year, a similar fate 
happened to William Watson : for he was captured 
almost immediately and imprisoned in the Marshal- 
sea. But he was soon released on condition of 
leaving England within a specified time. Richard 
Topcliife, however, seized him and cast him into 
Bridewell Prison. Here,^ being overcome by hard- 
ships, he consented to go to the Protestant church. 
But afterwards he repented and by way of reparation 
declared his fault publicly in the church of Bridewell, 
whither he had gone previously through human weak- 
ness. He was again, therefore, thrown into prison 
and grievous sufferings inflicted upon him. At the 
end of a month, he was moved to a lodging at the 
top pf the house, where the enemies of the faith en- 
deavoured to persuade him to go to church a second 
time. Meanwhile, no Catholic had visited him, until 
Margaret Ward made an attempt to do so. 

^ Diet. Nat. Biog. and the authorities there quoted, also 
C.R.S. ii. 

"^ See the Historia Particular of Bishop Yepez, Book V, chap, 
ii., and Challoner's Memoirs of Missionary Priests^ for the abovq 


This courageous woman was born at Congleton in 
Cheshire of a gentleman's family, and entered the 
service of Mrs. Whittel,^ a lady of distinction. In 
the Historia Particular of Bishop Yepez, as quoted 
by Challoner, the vigilance of the prison authorities 
and the noble conduct of Margaret Ward are de- 
scribed as follows : " She (Margaret Ward) was in the 
service of a lady of the first rank, who then resided 
at London ; and hearing of the most afflicted condi- 
tion of Mr. Watson, asked and obtained leave of her 
lady to go and attempt to visit and relieve him. In 
order to this, she changed her dress, and taking a 
basket upon her arm, full of provisions, went to the 

Hn Dom. Eliz. vol. ccli. n. 14, date 3 February, 1595, en- 
dorsed by Lord Keeper Puckering, " Seminaries and their 
Receyvers," is found the following notice. " Item, At Mr. Whit- 
all's house neare Ashborne, iiij miles from Awkmonton, lieth 
one Robert Showell, a Semye priest with a bald heed, havinge 
one legge bigger than th' other, and at the buttrye doore they 
goe up a paire of staires straighte to the chamber where they say 
Masse, and Tanfield useth thither often." Mr. Whit(t)all is also 
mentioned as a Papist in Lansdowne MSS., Burghley Papers^ 33 
Plut. n. 16. The original is endorsed "10 August, 1581. A 
declaron of certain Papists, &c., writ by G.E. [George Elliot], that 
is by one that was servant to the Old Ladye Petre." 

Another Mr. Whitell is spoken of in Venerable John Hambley's 
confession, taken 18 August, 1586. This mentions Whitell's 
house in Corscombe, within a mile of Munday's in Beaminster, 
Dorset, and at both of these houses he said Mass (see Foley 
Records^ Series ii. iii. iv. ix. x. xi. xii.). It is not unlikely that 
one or more of these persons bearing the name of Whittall, 
Whitall, or Whitell are related to the Mrs. Whittel mentioned 
above ; but sufficient evidence is not forthcoming to enable us to 
determine what the exact relations were, 


prison, but could not have leave to come at the priest, 
till, by the intercession of the jailer's wife, whom Mrs. 
Ward had found means to make her friend, with 
much ado she obtained permission to see him from 
time to time, and bring him necessaries, upon condi- 
tion, that she should be searched in coming in and 
going out, that she might carry no letter to him, or 
from him ; which was so strictly observed for the 
first month, that they even broke the loaves, or pies, 
that she brought him, lest any paper should thereby 
be conveyed to him ; and all the while she was with 
him, care was taken that some one should stand by 
to hear all that was said. But at length, beginning 
to be persuaded that she came out of pure compassion 
to assist him, they were less strict in searching her 
basket, and in hearkening to their conversation ; so 
that he had an opportunity of telling her, that he had 
found a way by which, if he had a cord long enough 
for that purpose, he could let himself down from the 
top of the house, and make his escape. 

" Mrs. Ward soon procured a cord, which she brought 
in her basket under the bread and other eatables." 

Mr. George Stoker and Mr. Heath in their Relation ^ 
thus continue the narrative. " She provided him . . . 
a man to accompany him, and a boat to convey him, 
assigning the hour when he should come down ; the 
time was between 10 and 11 o'clock. When she 
came afterwards to the boatman he altogether refused, 
at which she was much grieved, thinking she had 
utterly cast away the good priest. 

1 Pollen, Acts^ pp. 312-13. 


" By chance she met with a young man (Venerable 
John Roche) whom she had not seen in half a year 
before, who seeing her in that mournful plight de- 
manded the cause. She denied to tell him ; he more 
enforcing her, said he would willingly adventure his 
life to do her any pleasure ; and she said that so he 
must if he would help her in that respect. To this 
he accorded with faithful promise, whereupon she 
told him the whole matter. Then he went and pro- 
vided another boat, and she came to the place ap- 
pointed, and so received the priest and went his way. 

** At his coming down there fell a stone which 
awaked all the house, so that they followed him with 
hue and cry ; and his keeper making haste overtook 
them at Lambeth Marsh. The priest seeing him come 
after them said unto the man, * Sure we be undone, 
for yonder comes my keeper *. Whereupon he re- 
turned towards him and bade him good morrow ; but 
the keeper ran away, not knowing him. When he 
was gone they [changed] clothes, but the man upon 
his return was taken by the priest's apparel." 

There are, indeed, some divergencies in the ac- 
counts that we possess of the above story of Wil- 
liam Watson's escape from prison, which took place 
in August, 1588.^ Bishop Yepez, whom Challoner 
quotes, says that the time appointed was between 
two and three o'clock in the morning. Moreover, 

^ From the narrative of Bishop Yepez, as quoted by Challoner, 
the date cannot be fixed precisely. There is mention of eight 
days twice, consequently the escape may have been effected on 
18 August, or 10 August, since it is certain that Margaret Ward 
and John Roche were tried and condemned on 26 August. 


William Watson is said to have fallen down upon an 
old shed or penthouse, and it was the noise ensuing 
which attracted the attention of the jailers and 
others. Bishop Yepez, as quoted by Challoner, also 
relates that two watermen rescued the priest, and 
that one of them (John Roche) concealed him in his 
house, until he had recovered ; for he was much hurt 
by the fall and had broken his right leg and right arm. 
Although William Watson escaped, Margaret 
Ward and John Roche were to win the crown of 
martyrdom instead. The rope, by means of which 
William Watson had obtained his liberty, was seen 
by the jailer, who convinced that Margaret Ward 
alone could have brought it to the priest, proceeded 
to secure her arrest early next day. She was found 
by the justices and constables, on the point of depart- 
ing in order to change her lodgings. Thereupon she 
was arrested, thrown into prison and loaded with 
irons. Father Robert Southwell, in a letter to Father 
General Claudio Aquaviva, dated 31 August, 1588,^ 
further describes her sufferings. " She was flogged 
and hung up by the wrists, the tips of her toes only 
touching the ground, for so long a time, that she was 
crippled and paralysed, but these sufferings greatly 
strengthened the glorious Martyr for her last struggle." 
After eight days she was brought to trial at Newgate 
on 26 August, where she cheerfully admitted that 
she had furnished the means by which William Wat- 
son had eluded the persecutors. Threats were em- 
ployed to induce her to disclose the whereabouts of 

1 C.R.S, V. p. 327. 
28 * 


the priest ; but they were all in vain. Various 
reasons are assigned for her condemnation. Vener- 
able Henry Walpole in his Relation ^ says that she 
was " condemned for giving of two shillings unto a 
priest at Bridewell " ; while in the Relation of the 
Penkevels it is said that **[She was] condemned for 
bringing a rope to a priest being prisoner in Bride- 
well, who by that means escaped ". Liberty was 
offered to her, if she would ask pardon of the Queen's 
majesty and promise to go to church. In reply, 
Margaret Ward refused to ask pardon for an offence 
against the Queen, which she had not committed, 
and expressed her belief that the Queen herself, if 
she had the compassion of a woman, would have 
done as much under similar circumstances. With 
regard to going to church, she had been convinced 
for many years that it was not lawful to do so, and 
she would lay down many lives, if she had them, 
rather than act against her conscience or do anything 
against God and His holy religion. John Roche 
was also tried and condemned at the same sessions. 

In conclusion an extract may be given from the 
postscript of a letter, written by Mr. James Younge, 
priest, from Douay, g February, 1595. " Margaret 
Ward, gentlewoman, was hanged at Tyburn, because 
she brought a rope, enwrapped in a clean shirt, to one 
Watson, a priest, being in Bridewell prison, out of 
which he escaped by the help of that rope. 

" John Neele (Roche), an Irishman, was also exe- 
cuted with her at Tyburn. He, in a search, was 

^ This and the following documents are found in Acfs of the 
English Martyrs. 


found in that apparel which the priest had on, when 
he escaped out of prison. Neele being a servingman, 
had given the priest his own clothes the better to 
get away. He was examined what he was, for at 
the first they thought he had been Watson the priest, 
but he confessed that he was a Catholic and had 
holpen the priest to escape, for which he was exe- 
cuted at Tyburn." 

Note. — In a manuscript belonging to St. Mary's 
College, Oscott, there is to be found an account of 
the imprisonment and indictments of Mr. Francis 
Tregian, Esquire, of Volvedon in Cornwall, which 
is printed in Morris, Troubles, i. References are 
made to a certain John Neale, who was accused of 
giving aid to Blessed Cuthbert Mayne. It is un- 
certain whether this is the same person as John 
Roche alias Neele, or a seminary priest, who was 
sent into England in 1580 and afterwards imprisoned 
in the Marshalsea in 1585 {C.R.S. ii. p. 240). 

W. R. 

Authorities.— Pollen, Ac/s of English Martyrs, Preface, pp. 
XX, xxi ; Relation of Martyrs, by Mr. James Younge, priest, 
written from Douay, February, 1595, pp. 117, 118 ; Relation of 
the Penkennels [Penkevels] of the Suj^erings in England, 1384- 
159^^ p. 286 ; Relation by the Venet able Father Henry Walpole, 
p. 307 ; Relations of Mr. George Stoker and Mr. Heath concern- 
ing Martyrs, pp. 312, 313. Yepez, Historia Particular de la 
persecucion de Inglaterra, 1599, Book V, chap. ii. ; Challoner's 
Memoirs of Missionary Priests, 1741, Part I, pp. 221-8 ; C.R.S. 
English Martyrs, 1384-1603, vol. v., Letter of Father Robert 
Southwell, S.J., to Father General Claudio Aquaviva, pp. 323, 


327; Months January, 1879, "Martyrs of the Year of the Ar- 
mada," p. 78. For William Watson stt zXso Douay Diaries ; 
C.R.S. Miscellanea II. vol. ii. Prison Lists, pp. 274, 277 ; Diet. 
Nat. Biog. and authorities there quoted. For Mr. Whittal, 
Whitall or Whitell see Foley, Records of the English Province, 
S.J., Series ii.-iv. p. 587 note, Series ix.-xi. p. 698, Series xii. p. 
741. In connexion with the John Neale mentioned in the note, 
see Morris, Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers, Series i., Im- 
prisonment and Indictments of Mr. Francis Tregian, Esquire, 
pp. 86, 94, 95. A certain priest, John Neale, is mentioned in 
Douay Diaries, pp. 27, 261, 362 ; and in C.R.S. Miscellanea II. 
vol. ii. p. 240. 


FLOWER (sometimes miscalled WIGGES). 


Kingston-on-Thames ^ 23 Sept. (or i Oct.)y 1588. 

A CERTAIN amount of confusion and misunderstand- 
ing has arisen as to the personality of this martyr, 
which the present writer believes can now be finally 
cleared up. It will be best to explain the nature of 
the difficulty before proceeding to detail the life of 
the martyr. 

The discussion involves two, possibly three, per- 
sons : — 

i. William Way, alias Flower, who was ordained 
priest at Douay in 1586 and martyred at Kingston 
in 1588. 

ii. William Wigges, who was ordained priest at 
Douay in 1582 and died a prisoner in Wisbech Castle 
not earlier than 1595. 

iii. A second William Wigges, whom Father Morris, 
S.J., believed to have been martyred at Kingston-on- 
Thames, I October, 1588, and whom he says was also 
known as William Way. There is accordingly a 
double question involved. 



(i) Were there two martyrdoms at Kingston, one 
of William Way, alias Flower, alias Wigges, on 23 
September, and another of William Wigges, alias 
Way, on i October ? and (2) Were there two separate 
priests called William Wigges, the one a martyr, the 
other a confessor ? 

Father Morris answered both these questions at 
first in the affirmative ; but in the light of later in- 
formation, he wrote : — ^ 

"In this place it may be well to say that the dis- 
tinction drawn between William Flower, alias Way, 
and William Wigges, alias Way, as two different 
martyrs must be withdrawn as untenable. The two 
dates of martyrdom given, both at Kingston, Septem- 
ber 23 and October i, 1588, do not quite correspond 
to the diversities of style, but though we cannot de- 
cide which of. the two is the true date, the doubt ex- 
pressed by Bishop Yepez whether Way and Flower 
were two different persons is set at rest by the entry 
in the prison lists (P.R.O., Dom. Eliz. ccii. n. 61) : 
' William Flower alias Way, seminary, in the Clink '. 
The diversity of a few days in the date assigned to 
the martyrdom of Wigges alias Way is insufficient 
ground for making him out to be another person." 

The matter becomes clearer still when we realize 
the fact that a close study of the contemporary docu- 
ments fails to reveal a single instance where the 
priest William Way was ever during his lifetime 
called Wigges, or where William Wigges was ever 
called Way. It was not till some years after 1588 
that we find the two names combined as " Way alias 

^ Acts of the English Martyrs^ p. xx. 


Wigges". The conclusion then is that there were 
two priests, WilHam Way (sometimes erroneously 
printed May) alias Flower, the martyr, and William 
Wigges, the confessor. 

When did the confusion begin ? The earliest in- 
stance is Father Ribadeneira's Spanish edition of 
Sander de Schismate Anglicano, published in 1594, in 
which he gives two martyrs, " Guillermo Wiges " and 
'* Guillermo Vero," the latter is probably, as Father 
Morris has suggested, the latter half of " Flovero " 
(Flower). Probably Father Ribadeneira was misled 
by the list published in 1590 by Dr. Barrett, then 
President of the College at Rheims : " Nomina alum- 
norum utriusque Seminarii Anglorum Rhemensis 
et Romani qui ultimo supplicio affecti sunt . . . 
proximis his 13 annis "} In this list he erroneously 
inserted the name of William Wigges as '' dead ex 
squalore carceris 1588 ". This list was translated 
into Spanish by Padre Juan Lopez Mancano, S.J., 
at Valladolid in the same year, 1590. 

From 1590 onwards, then, William Wigges was 
appearing in lists as a martyr. In 1599 Bishop 
Yepez gives Flower (" Elouer ") and Way C' Wayo ") 
as different martyrs but does not mention Wigges, 
though in his list of lay martyrs he includes one 
*' Wigmore ". Therefore by the end of the century 
the identification of Way and Wigges had not yet 
taken place. 

The first writer to suggest it was Robert Wilson, 
the priest who in 1608 published his English Mar- 

^ Father Pollen, S.J., Unpublished Documents relating to the 
English Martyrs^ p. 2. 


tyrologe, to which he appended a catalogue of English 
martyrs, and in this catalogue he writes, " Way 
(Wigges)," thus for the first time applying the two 
names to the same person. Dr. Worthington's 
catalogue, issued in the same year, 1608, has simply 
" Way,*' though he dates the martyrdom i October, 
i5^7> a year earlier than the other sources. 

Father Grene, S.J., followed Wilson and speaks of 
the martyr as Waius alias Wiggs, and Dodd gives 
him under the name Wigges. But Challoner, with 
his usual caution, refrains from the identification and 
does not mention Wigges at all, and in this he per- 
petuated the Douay tradition, for the College lists 
simply give William Way without any alias. 

Thus it appears that there is no authority for sup- 
posing that William Way was ever known by the 
alias of Wigges but the unsupported statement of 
Robert Wilson made twenty years after the martyr's 
death. 1 Having thus cleared the ground of a sus- 
picion, which might seriously divide and distract 
attention, we return to the subject of this memoir. 

William Way was born in Devonshire, according 
to Benjamin Norton, a well-known priest who in 

^ Of modern lists of martyrs the only one to identify Way and 
Wigges is T. G. Law, A Calendar of the English Martyrs 
(London, 1876). Father Stanton, Menology of England and 
Wales (London, 1892) ; Canon Fleming, Complete Calendar of the 
English Saints and Martyrs (London, 1902), and Mr. Dudley 
Baxter, An English /Calendar (London, 1904), all follow Bishop 
Challoner and give the martyr as William Way alias Flower, 
without any reference to Wigges. The Menology of St. Ed- 
munds Collegey Old Hall {London, 1909), also ignores the alias 
of Wigges. 


1626 was collecting information about the martyrs 
for Bishop Richard Smith; "Mr. William Way I 
knew at Rheims and I verily think that he was a 
Devonshire and probably an Exeter man ". Bishop 
Challoner, however, states that he was born in Corn- 
wall, but does not give his authority for the state- 
ment. Of his early life we know nothing ; but about 
1583 he left England for Rheims. By an accidental 
omission his arrival is not noted in the College diary, 
and the first entry concerning him is that which re- 
cords his being tonsured on 31 March, 1584. His 
name does not occur again for two years, and then 
his ordination as subdeacon at Laon on 22 March, 
1586, is chronicled. After a few days, on 5 April — also 
at Laon — he received the diaconate, and four months 
later, on 18 September, he returned to the same place 
to be ordained priest. The Bishop of Laon at that 
time was Valentine Douglas, O.S.B., and most pro- 
bably it was he who ordained the martyr. Having 
spent nearly three more months in completing his 
preparation, he left Rheims alone on 9 December 
and made his way to England. 

He was barely six months at liberty before he was 
arrested at Lambeth, under the name of Flower, but 
there seems to be some doubt about the date, and one 
document mentions April, 1586, as the time of his 
arrest. This date is certainly wrong, as he did not 
leave Rheims till December of that year. In a paper 
prepared by Sir John Puckering, who was to prosecute 
the martyrs of 1588, under the heading " To examine " 
we read : " Flower, priest in the Clink (or Mr. Young) 
the Time of his apprehension is Surrey in April '86 ". 


To this entry is added the mysterious abbreviation 
" p e3^ sub sa mayne de f!l le date," but this is can- 
celled. In another entry by the same person we find 
"William Flower a priest pfit." which means ** he 
confesses it," and then the clause " if time of appre- 
hension certainly known," but this again is cancelled. 
A third entry, also by Puckering, under the head, " A 
note of the evidence as I collected it and wrote it 
down for and against the persons hereafter named," 
runs as follows : *' William Flower. Born in Devon- 
shire. Made a priest in France at Michaelmas Ao 
xxviii Reginae nunc. He returned into England and 
was apprehended in Surrey about June, 29 Reginae, 
after the general pardon. His offence of being in 
the realm." 

Putting these together we may conclude that there 
was doubt in the minds of the Crown lawyers as to 
whether the martyr had been arrested before or after 
the issue of the general pardon. The first idea that 
he had been apprehended in April, 1586, was corrected 
after his examination, and the correct date " June, 29 
Reginae," that is June, 1587, was substituted. 

Various entries in the prison lists between July, 
1587 and the summer of 1588 show that he was im- 
prisoned in the Clink, and that his real name was 
known, for he is entered as Flower alias Way, in 
two instances mis-spelt May. 

Concerning his trial Venerable Henry Walpole in 
his relation speaks as follows : " Mr. Way or Flower 
was brought to Newgate Sessions and there his in- 
dictment read. He denied to be tried by a temporal 
judge, wherefore the Bishop of London was sent for; 


and the Recorder said that because of his refusal 
there was a spiritual Judge. Mr. Way asked, * Who 
made him a bishop ? ' The Recorder said * The 
Queen, who is Supreme Head of the Church '. He 
answered that she was not Head of the Church, 
neither would he acknowledge him for Bishop. Then 
upon the statute he was condemned, and at Kingston 
very cruelly martyred, unbowelled alive, and his 
bowels burnt before his face." 

Father John Gerard, S.J., the confessor for the 
faith, thus speaks of this martyr : ^ " William Waye, 
priest, was very much given to abstinence and aus- 
terity. He had such desire of martyrdom that others 
being sent for to the sessions and not he, he did 
weep and cry, and was so much grieved that fearing 
he had offended God he went presently to confes- 
sion ; but when he himself was sent for, he had so 
much joy that he seemed past himself." 

Another contemporary account found in Father 
GrenQs Collectanea F^ says: "Mr. William Way, 
priest, a man much mortified by great abstinence 
and other austerities, lying ever in prison upon the 
boards and wearing continually a shirt of hair, so 
desirous of martyrdom that he would many times cry 
out, ' Oh, I shall never come to it,' was conveyed 
from London to Kingston-upon-Thames, where, 
answering with great constancy, he was drawn, 
hanged and quartered with severity ". 

There is considerable doubt as to the day on 
which the martyr died. Stow, a good authority on 

1 C.R.S. V. 290. 

^ Morris, Troubles^ Series ii. 234-5. 


such points, says : " On the 23rd of September a 
Seminary priest named Flower was hanged, beheaded 
and quartered at Kingston ". But Father Gerard, Dr. 
Worthington and Robert Wilson give i October in 
their 1608 catalogues, and from that time sometimes 
one date, sometimes the other and sometimes the 
choice between the two is found. 

E. H. B. 

Authorities. — Challoner. Douay Diaries. Morris, Troubles^ 
Series ii. Preface, A.E.M. xx. Benjamin Norton to Bishop of 
Chalcedony C.R.S. v. 395. Massacre 0/1388, 154. Walpole's 
Relation, A.E.M. 307. Catalogue of Martyrs, C.R.S. v. 290. 
Hambley's Confessions^ edited by Simpson, Rambler, N.S. x. 331 
(Nov., 1858). 



Canterbury^ I October^ 1588. 

Robert Wilcox, one of the three young priests put 
to death for the Faith, at Canterbury, on i October, 
1588, was born at Westchester (i.e. Chester),^ in or 
about the year 1558.^ Of his family or childhood 
nothing is known. At the age of twenty-five he 
entered the English Seminary at Rheims, arriving 
there with another future martyr, Edmund Geninges, 
on 12 August, 1583. On the 23rd of the next month he 
was tonsured and called to minor orders in the College 
Chapel by Cardinal de Guise. Among his companions 
in this ceremony of admission to the service of the 
Altar, was Christopher Buxton, with whom less than 
five years later he was to be admitted by a glorious 
martyrdom to the eternal service of the throne of God. 
Eighteen months elapsed before, on 16 March, 1585, 
Wilcox took the irrevocable step of the Subdiaconate, 

^ Westchester^ Puckering's notes at examination, C.R.S. v. 161. 
Chester^ Challoner. Cestrien, Douay Diaries. 

^ Age at death, 1588, according to Grene, E, quoted in Morris, 
Troubles^ iii. 39, was thirty. 



a few weeks after which, on the vigil of Passion 
Sunday, he was raised by Cardinal de Guise to the 
Diaconate. His priesthood was conferred upon him 
a fortnight later in the chapel of the Holy Cross, in 
Rheims Cathedral, the day being Holy Saturday, 
20 April, 1585.^ This was the last ordination there at 
which Cardinal Allen, the founder of the College of 
martyrs, was present. 

Unlike most of the Douay priests, Mr. Wilcox now 
remained eight months at the College before crossing 
to England on 7 January, 1586. " He was appre- 
hended then in Kent," we read in the notes made of 
his examination shortly before his trial and death, so 
it seems his missionary labours were short and his 
time of freedom was spent toiling in the county of his 
martyrdom. Possibly he was captured upon landing, 
as were many of the Elizabethan confessors and 
martyrs. In a letter of Nicholas Berden the noto- 
rious spy of Walsingham, dated 1586, he is mentioned 
as one of eight priests in the Marshalsea, " mete for 
banishment," as opposed to others in Wisbech prison 
who, the zealous informant suggested, were " mete 
for the galleys or gallows ".^ The authorities did 
not take the same view, for two years later, in August, 
1588, Serjeant Puckering wrote : " He was committed 
to the Marshalsee ' then' (i.e. in 1586) by the Privee 
Counsel's Order, where he ever since remained ". As 
the reason, he adds, " So his treason after the statute 

^Puckering, writing August, 1588, says, "priest iiij years 
past," which would be 1584. C.R.S. v. 161. 

2 Nicholas Berden to Mr. Thomas . . . (name erased) 1586. 
Foley, Records, S./., i. 478. 


of 27 Reg. (i.e. 1585), not pardoned by the last general 
pardon, both because all prisoners in the Marshalsea 
then, and also all persons restrayned by the Council's 
command, are excepted out of the pardon ". 

So for two years, Robert Wilcox languished amid 
the filth and worse of an Elizabethan prison, the days 
of monotonous horror differentiated from one another 
only by the arrivals of other Confessors, some soon 
to be fellow-martyrs, such as the Venerable Edward 
Campion and the Venerable Christopher Buxton, 
sharers in the glory of the Canterbury massacre ; the 
Venerable Ralph Crockett, the Venerable Edward 
James and others, who died in various places on the 
same day, and the Venerable James Claxton who suf- 
fered near Brentford a month and three days earlier. 

The actual date of the trial of Mr. Wilcox is not 
definitely known, nor the spot where it took place. 
It is probable, however, that those who were to suffer 
in London were ** tried " at Newgate, and those sent 
into the counties received their sentence in the towns 
where they were executed. Thus the Venerable 
Robert Wilcox would have been formally tried in the 
city of Canterbury. A preliminary investigation for 
the purpose of collecting evidence to be brought for- 
ward at the trial proper, was made in the Marshalsea 
on 15 August, 1588, by order of the Privy Council. 
At this Mr. Wilcox acknowledged his glorious offence 
against the laws of the Government as is attested by 
the note, "full pfit" ("profitetur" — *' he confesseth 
himself guilty "), in the account of the interrogation.^ 

^Puckering, C.R.S. v, 155. 


Towards the end of September he was sent down 
to Canterbury, no doubt under guard of some of the 
soldiers who thronged the roads to the coast, England 
being still, in spite of the defeat of the Armada and 
the English command of the Channel, threatened to 
some extent by the presence of the vast forces under 
the Prince of Parma in the Netherlands. In Canter- 
bury Robert Wilcox passed his last days preparing 
for martyrdom in the city of the Apostle in England 
of the Faith for which he was to die. With him 
were Christopher Buxton and Edward Campion, 
fellow-priests, and Robert Widmerpool, a layman, 
and we now proceed to tell their common story. In 
it Mr. Wilcox did not always take the lead, ])ut he 
did at death, telling his companions, with splendid 
courage, " that he was going to heaven before them 
and would carry the tidings, that they were coming 

F. K. McC. 

Authorities.— Massacre of I J SSj C.R.S. v. 150-65. Douay 




Canterbury^ I October^ 1588. 

The real surname of the martyr known to us by the 
alias of " Edward Campion," ^ seems to have been 
'' Edwards ".^ He came of good family, and was 
until recently thought to have been of Kentish ex- 
traction, as Bishop Challoner states. The lately dis- 
covered notes of his own confession to his judges 
shortly before his death ^ show him, however, to have 
been a Shropshire man, born at Ludlow in that 
county. Except for the year of his birth, about 
1552,* nothing is known of his childhood and early 
education, beyond that he was brought up a Pro- 
testant. In early manhood he went up to White Hall, 
" Aula Alba Magna," Oxford — more properly Jesus 
College, a new foundation which, in 1571, absorbed 
'* White Hall " but became itself popularly known by 
that name. Thus the not infrequent statement, that 

^ Sometimes Campian. ^ Douay Diaries^ 212. 

^ Puckering's examination, C.R.S. vol. v. 160. 
* jEt. thirty-six at time of death, 1588, according to Grene, E, 
quoted in Morris, Troubles^ iii. 39. 

451 29 ^ 


Mr. Edwards was a member of the same College as 
his namesake, the Blessed Edmund Campion, is in- 
correct, the latter having been a Fellow of St. John's. 
Owing to lack of certain knowledge of Mr. Edwards's 
Christian name it is difficult to obtain particulars of 
his Oxford days. Among the many '' Edwards " 
whose names remain to us in the extant College 
registers,^ only one of Jesus College is found who 
might conceivably be identified with the martyr, 
"Francis Edwards pleb." who matriculated 20 Dec- 
ember, 1577, aged twenty. It must be noted, how- 
ever, that a record of the second half of the seventeenth 
century gives Edwards's age at death as thirty-six, 
which would make him twenty-five or twenty-six in the 
year 1577. Again, Francis Edwards hailed not from 
Shropshire but from the adjacent county of Denbigh, 
which sent many of that name to Oxford during 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Francis 
Edwards has this in favour of the identification that he, 
like the martyr, never seems to have graduated,^ a fact 
which militates against identifying the latter with the 
only other possible entry in the University lists, that of 
William Edwards (no College mentioned), B.A., 1574. 
However this be, we know from his own confession 
that he spent two years at White Hall (or Jesus 
College), Oxford. 

^ Foster's Alumni Oxonienses. 

2 Probably this Francis Edwards was the priest of that name 
who is mentioned in a list of prospective martyrs {C.R.S. v. 155) 
as " Fraunces Edwards " of Denbigh, and who, after being con- 
demned and led to execution with Venerable Ralph Crockett and 
Venerable Edward James, saved his life on the scaffold by re- 


After coming down from Oxford, presumably with- 
out a degree, he entered the service of Lord Dacre, 
with whom he remained probably until he left Eng- 
land for France.^ Nothing is known of him between 
his leaving Oxford and joining Lord Dacre, so if the 
interval between the two was short his service was o^ 
long duration. During this time he abjured Pro- 
testantism and was reconciled to the Church of God, 
as he proudly acknowledged at his trial. His con- 
version may perhaps be somehow connected with 
his service with Lord Dacre, for Gregory Fiennes, 
tenth Baron Dacre of the South, had married Anne, 
daughter of Sir Richard Sackville, whose family had 
a strong leaning to the ancient faith. 

In February, 1586, he set out for France, having 
conceived the noble intention of becoming a priest, 
despite the very recent fulminations of Elizabeth's 
Government against Catholics and particularly 
priests.^ He arrived at the English Seminary at 
Rheims on the 22nd of the month. In accordance 
with the custom of many Douay priests of taking 
aliases for their greater safety on the English mission, 
he relinquished the name of Edwards, but instead of 
becoming known by some name which would render 
him more obscure, such as his mother's maiden name 
(the usual practice), he adopted that of Edward Cam- 
pion. Thus he associated himself with the Blessed 
Martyr who, prominent as Fellow of St. John's 
and Proctor of Oxford University, had made himself 

^ " La^e servant w^h the L. Dacres of the South," Confession, 
C.R.S. V. 134. 
^27 Eliz. (1585). 


known throughout the length and breadth of Eng- 
land by his glorious death five years before. For 
him Mr. Edwards seems to have a respect and ad- 
miration bordering on rashness, as is shown by his 
answers at his trial. 

Being thirty-four years of age, and a man of 
superior education, his course of studies was very 
considerably shortened. The date of his tonsure and 
admission to minor orders is not mentioned in the 
College registers, but within seven months of entry, 
on i8 September, 1586, he left Rheims for Laon, there 
to receive the first of the major orders, the subdiaco- 
nate. With '' D. Campian alias dictus Edwards," 
among the three priests and ten other subdeacons 
ordained, were, as was usual at these glorious cere- 
monies of self-sacrifice, several other future martyrs. 
Three months later Edward Campion was elevated 
to the diaconate in the College Chapel, on ig Dec- 
ember, 1586, and within twelve and a half months of 
his entry into the College was presented for the priest- 
hood, a fact which speaks volumes for the sanctity 
and conduct of the convert seminarian who had been 
unknown to the authorities so short a time before, as 
appears from the first of the entries in the Douay Diary : 
" Venit ad nos quidam D. Edwards generosus, qui 
statim in communas receptus est," to which Dr. 
Worthington added, " nomine Edouardus Campianus ". 
The date of Mr. Campion's ordination is not fixed to 
a day. He appears to have been ordained alone — at 
least he had no Douay companions — " at the begin- 
ning of Lent," 1587. The entry in the College re- 
gister lies between one of 2 March and another of 14 


March, the Eve of Passion Sunday, so unless, as is 
improbable, the event was not entered until some 
time had elapsed, it would seem he was promoted to 
the priesthood during the third or even fourth week 
in Lent. Perhaps he was sent to some other city for 
the ceremony which would, no doubt, account for his 
being alone and the lack of precision in the entered 
date. There seems to have been some reason for 
pressing on the ordination of Mr. Campion, as he was 
not even required to wait until the general ordination 
held on the Eve of Passion Sunday, which this year 
fell on 15 March. Furthermore, he left for England 
on 18 March, 1587, rather sooner after ordination 
than most of the Douay priests, perhaps because 
of some unexpected facility offered for entering the 

Edward Campion remained but a very short time 
at liberty after his arrival in England, for within about 
one month of his leaving Rheims he was apprehended 
at Sittingbourne in Kent. He was examined, and 
confessed himself a convert and a priest lately of 
Rheims (both treasonable offences). He added the 
information that he was a Shropshire man born at 
Ludlow, that he had been " late servant of the Dac- 
res of the South," and had been " brought up by y^ 
space of ij yeres in Whitehall now called Jhesus 
College in ye University of Oxon ". His fate was 
sealed by a bold avowal that the religion now pro- 
fessed in England was heretical, and that the Queen's 
Majesty was not his head or chief governor in ecclesi- 
astical causes, but only in temporal. 

This examination was made on 22 April. The next 


day he was conveyed by one John Amyas from Sit- 
tingbourne to the Council at Greenwich, for which 
service Amyas received a due reward from the Trea- 
surer of the Chamber. Four days later the Chief 
Baron, Roger Manwood, writing " from my pore 
house S. Stevens near Canterbury" sent a note to 
Sir Francis Walsingham, Principal Secretary to the 
Queen, saying, " I have thought meet to send him 
(Campion) up to Newgate in safe Custody to the in- 
tent that, after you shall have caused him to be 
further examined and dealt with as you shall see 
good, he may be at the next Newgate Sessions in 
London arraignment and receive his desert, or other- 
wise at your pleasure ". He adds that from a fellow- 
priest, William Chaddock, captured at Canterbury, he 
had learned, "This fellow calling himself Campyon is 
beyond the seas called Edwardes ". William Chad- 
dock himself was sent up to London shortly after- 
wards and seems to have been Campion's comrade 
in suifering, for the names of the two may be traced 
through the ** prison lists" in the Marshalsea, New- 
gate, and Wisbech, whence the latter, a priest from 
the English College, Rome, was eventually exiled after 
Elizabeth's death. 

How long precisely Mr. Campion during the six- 
teen or seventeen months before his death spent in 
Newgate and how long in the Marshalsea is not de- 
finitely known. While in prison a project was set on 
foot by some who meditated flight. Edward Campion, 
however, could not be induced to join them, and he 
replied when approached on the subject : " I would 
readily consent, if 1 did not hope to suffer martyrdom 


with the rest ". His desire seemed likely to be ful- 
filled soon ; for, on 14 August, at the time of the 
Armada excitement, Privy Council issued instructions 
for the examination of all prisoners. The next day Mr. 
Campion was interrogated. He maintained the same 
resolute front he had shown during the questions 
put him in Kent ; and after supplying the information 
of his birth, priesthood, and apprehension, added 
boldly that he wished " he was no worse traitor than 
Campion that was executed for treason ". He was 
asked the so-called "bloody question" (for which 
English law gave no warrant), viz. whether he would 
assist the Pope's forces or those of the Queen should 
they come into conflict. The martyr refused to give 
a direct answer to this, but said he would pray that 
the ** Catholic Romish" Church might prevail. He 
appears to have been pressed for an answer to the 
former question, for Serjeant Puckering gives two 
sets of answers, the second more detailed than the 
first. '' If an army come by thapostolic authoritie 
to deprive her Majestic and to restore Romish re- 
ligion, he refuseth to tell what part he will take, but 
will pray that the Cath. Church may prevail so long 
as he liveth." The outcome of the examination was 
the decision that as Campion " came into England 
at Easter (29 Reg^e, i.e. 1587), which his offence ys 
after the last pardon," and '* was apprehended in 
Kent, so (is) a traitor triable there ". In the notes 
in which Puckering a few days afterwards stated the 
case for the Crown he placed opposite the name of 
Edward Campion, as one of those to be executed in 
Kent, the abbreviation "pfit" — profitetur — *' he con- 


fesseth himself guilty ". The martyr was sent down 
to Canterbury probably towards the end of September 
and was no doubt " tried " there according to Pucker- 
ing's directions. Perhaps his judge was Chief Baron 
Roger Manwood, and it is probable that his com- 
panions in death, the Venerable Christopher Buxton 
and the Venerable Robert Wilcox, priests, and the 
Venerable Robert Widmerpool, layman, were sent- 
enced with him. In view of Mr. Campion's ad- 
missions at the two previous examinations and of 
the Elizabethan policy in regard to Catholic priests, 
viz., execution and trial rather than trial and execu- 
tion, the process must have been a formality and the 
result a foregone conclusion. The sentence, as we 
can well imagine, was received by the four in that 
spirit which, as we learn from an ancient chronicle, 
caused Catholic prisoners when anyone was con- 
demned to death for the Faith, to meet on the day 
on which he was to suifer and recite the Litanies 
and Stabat Mater and with other prayers beseech 
Almighty God to grant constancy and courage to 
those about to die. On i October, 1588, the holy 
man was led through the streets of the city of St. 
Augustine, and on Oaten Hill,^ merely **for his 
character and exercising his priestly functions in 
England, for the supposed treason was hanged, 
bowelled and quartered with courage and cheerful- 
ness ".^ His epitaph was written long after : ^ " He 
was a man both in name and deed like Edmund 
Campion ". Can one say more ? 

F. K. McC. 

^ Dom Bede Camm, O.S.B., CatA. Encycl^ under Buxton. 
2 Challoner. ^ Qrene, E, quoted, A.E.M. 327. 


Notes. — (a) All the catalogues ^ mention the martyr 
and his two fellow-priests, but Barrett, Ribadeneira, 
Worthington I, and Eudaemon give the year of their 
deaths (incorrectly) as 1587. Raissius says Wilcox 
suffered in September (see Challoner) and Challoner 
remarks that Campion died with Wilcox. Challoner 
also gives the other and correct date, i October, 1588. 

{b) Bridgewater terms Campion " Exul et Sacerdos ". 
The exile must be his stay at Rheims, 1586-7. No 
other is known. 

(c) Stanton in his Menology by evident misprint and 
probable confusion with Edmund Campion, S.J., adds 
" S.J. " to Edward Campion's name in the index, 
though not in the letterpress. 

{d) From the Ninth Report of the Hist. MSS. Com. , 
p. 156 (" Chamberlain's Accounts of Canterbury, 1588, 
1589 "), it appears that the head and quarters of one of 
this group of martyrs were taken, by order of Privy 
Council, from Canterbury to Dover, to be exposed 
there. The gallows on Ote, or Oaten Hill, was put 
up in 1576. 

AVTHORITIES.—Douay Diaries^ 212. Massacre of 1588^ 
C.R.S. V. 150-65. Examination of Ed. Campion^ ibid. 134. 
C^//.?^/a«^^, Allen, 326. Puckering s Notes^ C.R.S. V. \^\. Cat- 
alogue of Martyrs^ ibid. 10. Grene, Collectanea E, in Morris, 
Troubles ^ iii. ; Morris, Troubles^ ii. Foster, Alumni Oxonienses. 

^ C.R.S. vol. V. p. 10. 




Canterbury^ i October^ 1588. 

Of the four Canterbury martyrs of 1588, it is of 
Christopher Buxton, perhaps, that we have the most 
complete outHne " life ". He was born in Derby- 
shire, where is not stated, and it has been suggested 
that the family took its name from the town of Bux- 
ton.^ With regard to the date of birth, Father 
Grene's account in Collectanea E, which gives his 
age at his death as thirty, may be discarded, for the 
contemporary entry in the register of the English 
College, Rome, states him to have been twenty-two 
in 1584, and thus to have been born in 1562. He 
was at one time a Protestant, 

The education of the future martyr was accom- 
plished at the Grammar School, founded by Bishop 
Pursglove at Tideswell in the Peak not far from 
Buxton. After a number of years under the tuition 
of the Venerable Nicholas Garlick, he followed the 
example of his master in departing, at the age of 

^ Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. 


nineteen, with two schoolfellows for Rheims to study 
for the priesthood, arriving there on 8 July, 1581, one 
month after Mr. Garlick. All four became priests 
two, Garlick and Buxton, attaining to the glory of 
martyrdom. Their school and seminary intimacy 
continued until January, 1583, when Mr. Garlick was 
ordained and sent on the English Mission, to be 
banished in 1585 and to win a martyr's crown three 
years afterwards. 

With some forty other students, several of them 
future martyrs, Christopher Buxton received the 
Tonsure and Minor Orders in the College Chapel at 
the hands of Cardinal de Guise on 23 September, 
1583. He was classed as of the old Catholic diocese 
of Lichfield. Six months later he was sent to the 
English College, Rome, at the age of twenty-two. 
His name appears in the Pilgrim Book under date 
25 April, 1584, as staying eight days, which is of 
interest as showing him to have been a poor man, 
eight days' lodging being given free to poor pilgrims 
and three to more well-to-do travellers, according to 
the Constitution granted the College by Pope Gregory 
Xin. This week was but a preliminary to some 
years' stay. In July he was dispensed from the im- 
pediment of heresy, having abjured Protestantism, no 
doubt, when at Tideswell. In December the oath 
was administered him upon the Holy Scriptures, " to 
be ready at the order of the Sovereign Pontiff or other 
lawful Superior of this College to embrace the 
ecclesiastical life, to take Holy Orders, and to pro- 
ceed to England for the aid of souls ". 

The next we know of Christopher Buxton is that 


he was ordained priest at " Hallowtide," 1586, at the 
early age of twenty-four. It is probable that the 
Orders of Subdeacon and Deacon were conferred 
upon him within the foregoing months of the same 
year as his name is alBxed to a document, presented 
to the Authorities in 1586 (but open to signature for 
several months before the end of 1585)/ without the 
appellation " Subdeacon," or " Deacon," as in the 
case of some of his co-signatories. This was the 
" Petition of 50 Scholars for retaining the Fathers of 
the Society of Jesus ". Buxton, five other future 
martyrs, and forty-four other members of 'the College 
showed themselves on the side of order by formal 
protest, to the Cardinal Visitor, against the action 
of some of the students who had demanded the re- 
moval of the Jesuit Fathers from the direction of the 

Christopher Buxton remained five months in Rome 
before setting out for Rheims, in April, 1587, with 
Mr. Morton, a Deacon, afterwards martyred, three 
other priests, and a student named Owen. The 
little band travelled by Bologna, Piacenza, and Milan, 
arriving almost penniless on Corpus Christi Eve, 27 
May. In their journey through Italy, Germany, 
Lorraine, and France they suffered much from the 
heat, and ** verye hardlye escaped the dangeres of 
montaynes and heretikes, being thre severall tymes 

^ As is apparent from the dates of leaving Rome of some of 
the signatories, and from the investigation of dates of ordination 
to the priesthood of some Deacons, and to the Diaconate of some 
Subdeacons, who signed with these descriptions affixed to their 
names. See below, p. 492. 


in manyfest perill ". ^ Buxton, writing three days 
after their arrival, explaining to Father Holt, the 
Rector of the English College, that the reason for 
" so lavyshinge out of my moneye " was the dearness 
of "vitules bothe for horses and man," mentions 
" greate daungers of our lyves, and muche troble in 
the most parte of our waye, especiallye in Laurene 
(Lorraine) and Fraunce".^ 

Although informed by all of the impossibility of 
obtaining entrance into England, the martyr's mind 
was bent upon his future work. " I gave answere " 
(to the College Authorities), he writes, ''that I came 
from Rome to go in Englande, and therefore, if I 
could gette in, I would prepare myself to the jour- 
ney, so sone as we had solde our horse, and so I am 
amynded and determined within one weeke after the 
wryting hereof (May 30) to go towardes my countrye, 
and if I can gette anye hoope to escape by any meanes 
I will venter in the name of Jesus Christe & our 
blessed Ladye and all the holye & blessed companye 
of heaven."^ The wish was father to the deed for, 
on 9 June, Mr. Buxton reported to Father Holt, that 
he had stayed but one week at Rheims, had come to 
Paris on Friday, 5 June, and on the day of writing 
would set out for Rouen.^ Twenty days later a 
letter from Rouen begged instructions from Rome. 
Mr. Buxton while in Paris had been instructed by a 
Dr. Darbishire that Father Persons in England had 

1 Letter of Morton to Father Holt, C.I^.S. v. 137. 

2 Letter I of Buxton, 30 May, 1587, C.I^.S. v. 145. 
2 Letter I, 30 May, 1587. 

* Letter II, 9 June, 


received orders from Rome that the missionaries were 
not to cross to England until word was received from 
Father Holt. The martyr expresses his full obedience, 
but adds that he and his fellow-priests are " verye 
lothe to staye ".^ Throughout the two months of 
weary waiting Buxton wrote often to Dr. Darbishire, 
meanwhile, during three weeks spent at the English 
School at Eu, in Normandy, pressing forward his 
preparations. For this purpose he journeyed fre- 
quently to Dieppe, finally arranging with a Mr. 
James to be conveyed to London and there intro- 
duced to priests and Catholics. His fellow-priests 
had already set off for Scotland '' because of great 
lybertye which is given unto the Catholickes there 
of late tyme ". On 7 September, with enthusiasm 
which might seem strange to the world in one going 
only to hardship and possible death, the martyr 
writes expecting every day to go forward, " which I 
trust will be within towe or thrye dayes ".^ 

The following day, or the day after, letters arrived 
from Father Holt repudiating Dr. Darbishire's action. 
They drew forth a truly Christian reply from Mr. 
Buxton who, after expressing his sadness at being 
" iniouriouslye handled with Father Darbishire who 
forged such things to make me to staye," but for 
which '' I had bene the fyrst of all my companyons 
in Englande," adds, '' but consideringe the thinge is 
past I will not take it muche to hart, but will lett it 
lyghtlye passe, and now at length with full zeale and 
couragious myndes most like unto Aeneas, we will 

^ Letter III, 29 June, from " Roan ". 
^ Letter IV, 7 September. 


cutt the Surginge Seas and make assault towardes 
our foes". He requests that, for the protection of 
others, Father Darbishire be ordered not to stay 
future missionaries,^ expresses his pleasure at the 
elevation of Dr. Allen to the Cardinalate, and with 
this " last farewell " and a postscript with reference 
to the plans of the Government concerning the exe- 
cution and banishment of priests then in prison, 
begging their prayers, signs himself, " Your lovinge 
childe, never untill deathe to fayle in obedience, 
Christopher Buxton ".^ 

Soon after the dispatch of this letter the martyr 
sailed and succeeded in evading the vigilance of 
the royal officials at the port. Some anxiety was ex- 
pressed in Rome in regard to his landing, he, alone 
of the priests with him at Paris, having failed to 
report. Little time was allowed for the exercise of 
his priestly functions, for from the notes of his prison 
examination we find he was captured in Kent at 
" Hallowtide, 29 Reg." '' Hallowtide " might include 
a few weeks prior to i November, or a few weeks 
after that date ; the twenty-ninth year of Elizabeth's 
reign closed on 16 November, 1587, so if Christopher 
Buxton landed within a day or two of his report to 
Father Holt the maximum limits of freedom would 
be 16 September to 16 November — two months. 

^ Admirable as was the courage and zeal of our martyr, we 
must in retrospect allow that the older man was the more pru- 
dent ; as the sequel showed. For Father Darbishire, see D.N.B.^ 
Foley's Records^ etc. 

'^ Letter V, 12 September. 



More probably he had at most one month of mis- 
sionary activity, and so was never able to carry out 
an intention of saving souls in Derby, his native 

Christopher Buxton was sent to the Marshalsea by 
command of the Privy Council. There he became 
the fellow-prisoner of the Venerable Edward Campion 
and the Venerable Robert Wilcox, priests, and pos- 
sibly ^ of the Venerable Robert Widmerpool, layman, 
who were to suffer with him later. He had unusual 
exemption from supervision for an Elizabethan 
prison, and contrived to write a " Rituale," now pre- 
served, as his only relic, at Olney, Bucks. On 15 
August, 1588, after some twelve months' captivity, the 
prisoner was examined by order of the Privy Council, 
that evidence might be obtained for a formal trial. 
The notes of this remain, in the handwriting of the 
interrogator, Serjeant (afterwards Sir John) Pucker- 
ing. After mention of birth, ordination, entry into 
England and apprehension, follow fateful words, 
" This man will not take her maj. part against the 
army nor do anything to hinder his religion ". His 
name was then placed in the list of those who were 
to be executed in Kent, with the abbreviation ** pfit " 
(" profitetur " — he confesseth himself guilty). Under 
charge of treason Christopher Buxton was taken 
down to Canterbury within three or four weeks and 
there he probably went through his " trial ". On 30 
September, he dispatched his manuscript Rituale to a 

^ See letter of 12 September, C.R.S. v. 149. 
^ See below. 


priest as a last token of friendship, and the next day 
with Edward Campion, Robert Wilcox, and Robert 
Widmerpool was led out to die. No doubt as they 
approached Oaten Hill, the mound where they were 
to be butchered, the thoughts of the three Douay 
priests went back to the Te Deums they had sung in 
the College Chapel at Rheims when news arrived of 
the martyrdom of a fellow-student, and perhaps they 
thought how soon would that great hymn soar to 
heaven in thanksgiving for their triumph. 

At the place of execution Christopher Buxton, as 
the youngest, was called upon to witness the ghastly 
sufferings of the rest, in the hope that he might be 
intimidated. Robert Wilcox after a few cheery 
words of exhortation to his companions set them the 
heroic example. Edward Campion followed. Robert 
Widmerpool attempted to address the crowd, by whom 
he was howled down. He died either immediately 
before or after Mr. Buxton, who at the last moment 
was offered his life for conformity to Protestantism, 
to which he generously gave answer that " he would 
not purchase corruptible life at such a rate, and if he 
had a hundred lives he would willingly lay down all 
in defence of his faith ". The full penalties of treason, 
hanging, disembowelling, and quartering were in- 
flicted upon all ; so suffered the four on i October, 
1588. Edward Campion was thirty-six years of age, 
Robert Wilcox thirty, Robert Widmerpool probably 
two years younger, and the Venerable Christopher 
Buxton — the youngest of all — but twenty-six. 

F. K. McC. 



Authorities. — Massacre of 1^88^ C.R.S. v. 150-65. Diary 
of Eng. Coll., Rome. Foley, Records^ vi. 117, 165, 548, 555. 
Douay Diaries, 180. Four Letters of Robert Morton, note, 
C.R.S. V. 137. Five Letters of Christopher Buxton, ibid. 145-50. 
Confession, ibid. 161. Grene, Collectanea E, in Morris, Troubles, 
iii. Dom Bede Camm, Cath. Encyclopcedia, s.v. Buxton. 



Canterbury, i October, 1588. 

Of the Venerable Robert Widmerpool the little that 
is known is contained in Bishop Challoner's Memoir. 
He was of good family and born at Widmerpool in 
Nottinghamshire.^ The date of his birth and conse- 
quently his age at death, together with an additional 
and interesting event of his life, may be obtained if 
we hazard identifying him with an entry in the lists 
of alumni of one of the Oxford Colleges. There is a 
mention in the register of Gloucester Hall, Oxford ^ 
(later St. John Baptist's Hall under St. John's College, 
but now Worcester) of the matriculation under date 
3 August, 1578, of "' Robert Widmerpool of Notts, 
pleb., aged 18 ". If this be the martyr he would have 
been twenty-eight years of age when he suffered, 
which is not improbable, as his fellow-martyrs were 
but thirty-six (Campion), thirty (Wilcox), and twenty- 

^ There is no Robert Widmerpoole among the Widmer- 
pools of Widmerpool in the pedigree in the Visitation of Not- 
tinghamshire, 1569 and 161 4 ; Harleian Society, edited by G. 
W. Marshall, 1871. 

^ Foster's Alumni Oxonienses. 


six (Buxton). There were other Widmerpools at 
Oxford about this time, John Widmerpoole (or 
Wodmerpole), who graduated B.A. 1554, and M.A. 
1558, and Thomas Widmerpool, of Notts, gent., who 
matriculated at New College in 1581, but it is im- 
probable that there was more than one man of the 
uncommon name of Robert Widmerpool of Notts 
alive at this date. The suggestion is strengthened 
by the fact that the martyr was evidently a man of 
superior education, as he became tutor to the sons of 
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, brother of 
Blessed Thomas Percy the Martyr, who himself 
died in the Tower of London, a Confessor for the 
Faith, in 1585. 

If this then be taken for granted, Robert Widmer- 
pool was born in 1560, and proceeded to Gloucester 
Hall, Oxford, in 1578. He probably went down be- 
fore completing his course, as there is no record of 
his having graduated. At some subsequent date he 
obtained the tutorship which led to his death, for he 
was charged, in 1588, with having introduced a priest 
into the house of the Countess of Northumberland, 
this being a particular instance cited in support of a 
general accusation of hospitality to priests.^ How 
long he was with the family of Percy, whether he 
took charge of the Earl of Northumberland's children 
during the latter's lifetime and imprisonment, or 
after his death in 1585, is unknown. Nor have we 
any information as to the date of his apprehension, 
but at some time prior to August, 1588, he was lodged 

^ Dodd says Widmerpool was " condemned for denying the 
Queen's supremacy and being reconciled ". 


in either the Clink or the Marshalsea.^ Towards 
the end of September he was sent down to Kent, 
possibly in company with his three fellow-martyrs 
of the Marshalsea. If so, the Marshalsea and not 
the Clink was in all probability his prison, but his 
name does not appear on the extant lists of some of 
the prisoners in the former. At Canterbury, then, if 
not before, he joined the three priests awaiting death 
under sentence of high treason according to the Act 
of. 27 Eliz. (1585). 

Some account of the bearing of the martyrs dur- 
ing their passion has been preserved for later genera- 
tions by Bishop Challoner.^ They were led out to 
an eminence known as Oaten Hill on i October, 
1588. " Mr. Wilcox was the first who was called upon 
to go up the ladder, which he did with great cheerful- 
ness ; and when he was up, turning to his companions 
with a smiling countenance, he bid them be of good 
heart, telling them ' that he was going to Heaven 
before them, where he should carry the tidings of 
their coming after him '. He suffered with great 
constancy and alacrity, to the great edification of the 
faithful, and confusion of the persecutors." 

*' At the place of execution," says Bishop Challoner 
of Robert Widmerpool, " he, with great affection, 
kissed both the ladder and the rope, as the instru- 
ments of his martyrdom ; and having now the rope 

^ See annotation by Fr. Pollen to the Relation of the Penke- 
vels in his Acts^ p. 286. From this note it seems that Widmer- 
pool was in the Clink or Marshalsea, but it is not very clear which. 

^ Challoner took his account from Douay Diaries and Cata- 
logues and Champney's MS. History. 


about his neck, began to speak to the people, giving 
God most hearty thanks, ' for bringing him to so 
great a glory, as that of dying for his faith and truth, 
in the same place where the glorious martyr St. 
Thomas of Canterbury had shed his blood for the 
honour of His divine Majesty '. Some of the people 
at these words, cried out, ' Away, away with the 
traitor ' ; but he, not moved at all with their clamours, 
looking round him and recommending himself to the 
prayers of the Catholics, was flung off the ladder ; and 
so happily exchanged this mortal life for immortality." 

The two martyrs like their fellows Christopher 
Buxton and Edward Campion suffered the full sever- 
ity of the law, the complete barbarity of the sentence 
of High Treason, hanging, drawing, and quartering, 
being carried out upon them. 

It is worth noting that four catalogues, Barrett, 
Ribadeneira, Worthington I, and Eudaemon, give 
1587 as the date of the death of Wilcox; all agree 
as to the year of Widmerpool's passion except 
Barrett, Ribadeneira, More I and H, Raissius, and 
of course the Douay Catalogues omit him entirely, as 
they deal with priests. Yepez divides Widmerpool 
into three martyrs, Wigmore, Pole, and the tutor 
to the sons of the Countess of Northumberland. 
Raissius puts the martyrdom of Wilcox in Sep- 

F. K. McC. 

PiXSTKOKiTYE.s.—PenkevePs Relation^ A.EM. 286. Gerard's 
Catalogue of Martyrs^ C.R.S. v. 290, 10. Challoner. Yepez, 
Hist Part. 



Chichester, i October, 1588. 

Ralph Crockett was born in Cheshire at Barton- 
on-the-Hill in the year 1552.^ He was educated at 
Christ's College, Cambridge, and remained there 
three years. For a year he was a schoolmaster at 
Tibnam Longrow, in Norfolk, and then he proceeded 
to Oxford, studying at Gloucester Hall under a certain 
tutor named Reade of St. John's College. At the end 
of a year he left, probably without taking a degree, 
and at Ipswich he was again a schoolmaster for five 
years. About the year 1581 persecution increased 
on the pretext of Edmund Campion's supposed con- 
spiracy, and as a Catholic he found it advisable not 
to be connected with the scholastic profession. So 
he retired to his native county for about two years. 
In 1584 his mind was made up and he left England 
in a French ship which landed him at La Rochelle. 
Thence he journeyed to Rheims via Paris, and was 
received without further question by Dr. Allen on his 

^ The date 1552 is obtained from Father Christopher Grene's 
notes on the martyrdoms. Morris, Troubles of our Catholic 
Forefathers, Series iii., p. 38. 



own introduction. Thus he started his course of 
training for the priesthood in the English College of 
Douay (then in exile at Rheims), in the summer of 
1584. We have no information as to Crockett's status 
in England : he may have been supported at the 
college by the benevolent contributions of Catholics 
and by the funds provided by the Holy See ; or on 
the other hand he may have been wealthy and quite 
capable of supporting himself. This is suggested by 
the fact that, later on, it was proposed to transfer 
him from the Marshalsea to Wisbech Castle. He 
never made use of any alias, either because his 
brave spirit scorned such a thing as a subterfuge, or 
because, at that date, before Burghley's spies found 
their way even into the seminary, disguises such as 
these were unnecessary. He received the subdiacon- 
ate about Christmas, 1584, and in the following 
Lent was ordained deacon and priest by Cardinal de 
Guise. For a year he continued his studies and 
training, but in Lent, 1586, his health began to fail 
owing to the fare and the mode of life. Dr. Bayley, 
the vice-president, acceded to his earnest request to 
be allowed to leave France and he was thereupon 
appointed to the English mission. He set out with 
George Potter for Dieppe, staying a few days in 
Paris and Rouen. At Dieppe they met two other 
priests, Bramston and Edward James, of whom the 
latter was to be Ralph Crockett's companion before 
judges and upon the scaffold. A certain priest 
named Hudson ^ negotiated with Daniell, a New- 

^ Possibly the priest mentioned in C.R.S. vol. v. p. 194, 
banished from England in 1585. 


haven shipowner whom he knew, and it was at last 
arranged that the four priests should be conveyed 
across the Channel at five crowns per head, payable 
when land should be sighted. It is quite possible 
that the shipowner was merely setting a trap for 
them ; or it may have been without any evil design 
that, on Saturday, 16 April, 1586, he ran ashore at 
Littlehampton, a place as carefully watched as any 
in the kingdom. He warned them to lie in hiding, 
and went on shore. Two days later he returned 
with the news that a stricter watch than ever was 
being kept and that escape was impossible. On 
Tuesday Mr. Justice Shelley came on board and, 
discovering the priests, put them under arrest. The 
result of his examination ^ was that all four were 
conveyed to London and lodged in the Marshalsea 
where they awaited a more formal examination which 
took place on Saturday, 30 April. Ralph Crockett 
stated that ill-health brought him to England, but 
that he had intended to exercise his priestly office 
should occasion arise. Edward James admitted that 
he had come to fulfil his oath. These admissions 
were necessary before they could be imprisoned, for, 
strictly speaking, they had infringed no law. They 
had not landed but had been taken out of the ship 
against their will. The law under which they were 
to suffer — these admissions having been made — runs 
as follows : " No Jesuit seminary priest or other 
such priest, deacon or ecclesiastical person whatso- 
ever, born within the realm or any other of its then 
actual dominions and ordained or professed by 

^ C.J^.S. vol. ii. pp. 242, 243, etc. 


authority derived from the See of Rome shall come 
into, be or remain in this realm or other the then 
actual dominions aforesaid under pain of High 
Treason . . . " ^ Walsingham had therefore suffi- 
cient for a condemnation whenever he should desire 
to impress the mob by an execution ; and he reserved 
his victims in prison — Crockett in the Marshalsea 
with Potter and Bramston ; James in the Clink. 

During these years of confinement they are lost 
sight of, not only by those to whom they came to 
minister, but even by their persecutors. We find 
notes made by the prison authorities which indicate 
how little was known of the prisoner's offence and 
the circumstances of his coming thither. Apparently 
there was some doubt as to whether Ralph Crockett 
should be detained in prison after 1587. We read in 
the instructions of Serjeant Puckering against his 
name : " Not pardoned because prisoner in Marshal- 
sea. Also committed by Mr. Secretary" — that is, 
by Sir Francis Walsingham. As to this general 
pardon of 1587, we read against the name of Edward 
James, Crockett's companion in martyrdom : " So 
the offence of being here not pardoned by the generall 
pardon of 29 Reg^e, because all persons be ther ex- 
cepted out of the pardon, which the last day of the 
said parliament were restrained of their liberty by 
direction from some of the privy Counsel ". And 
again we read,^ '' But this clause helps them not yf 
they were at the last day of the same parliament in 

^ 27 Eliz. c. 2. 

"^ C.R.S. V. 156. For the general pardon, see Introduction 
§ iii. 


prison in the Tower, the Marshalseye, the Fleet or 
by the commandment of the Q. or by commandment 
or direction of any of her Council restrained of liberty. 
For such persons are generally excepted out of the 
pardon, albeit they do conform themselves ut sup^a." 

We have some informal reports on the Catholic 
prisoners which the ministers caused to be sent in 
to them from time to time. Of course it frequently 
happened that the prison officials gave false or pre- 
judiced reports through hatred of their prisoner or 
inability to extract bribes from him, for Burghley and 
Walsingham were not fastidious in the choice of 
their trusted underlings. Ralph Crockett in one 
report ^ is characterized with seven others as " meeter 
to be banished ". In a list ^ of " prisoners to be dis- 
posed of, December 1586 " under " Marshalseye " we 
find : ** Ralphe Crockett, for Wisbeche or such like 
place". This, as Simpson notes, implies that he had 
means of his own, for the Government did not keep 
for an indefinite period prisoners who were quite 
unable to contribute to their own support. 

There are two more landmarks in these prison re- 
cords which assure us that our martyr was in cap- 
tivity from the moment of his arrival in England 
until the day when his glorious death released him. 
A list of '' Priests and Jesuits in Prison in London, 
July 20, 1587 " ^ under " Marshalsea " gives nineteen 
names including " Ralf Crockett ". The other is a 
** Note of priests in London, March, 1588," which 
takes us very near to the day of the martyr's death. 

^ C.R.S. ii. 254, by Nicholas Berden. ^ c.lis. ii. 274. 

'"^IdM. 277. 


Under the Marshalsea entries ^ " Raffe Crockett " is 
found with fourteen other names. 

This is all that records tell us of his prison life. 
The courage and perseverance with which he bore 
this long and troublesome confinement we must infer 
from what we know of his character. It was a sore 
trial for this brave heart to reflect that his hopes of 
helping his countrymen were vain : that the time and 
trouble spent in becoming a priest were apparently 

The immediate cause of so many martyrdoms in 
1588 was the revulsion of feeling after the Spanish 
Armada. Making the most of the popular excitement 
caused by that event, Elizabeth's bureaucracy de- 
signed executions in bigoted places, such as London, 
to serve as popular displays, and in disaifected places 
to serve as a warning example. Chichester was con- 
sidered to lie in the latter category, and four names 
were selected and embodied by Puckering in a list 
which is preserved in the prison records.'^ Another 
.list of proposed martyrs gives under Sussex, " Raffe 
Crockett — Marshalsea ; ifraunces Edwards — Marshal- 
sea ; Edward James — Clynk ".^ 

The actual trial and martyrdom is best described 
by a certain Thomas Bowyer, who was commissioned 
to conduct the trial, and who makes the most of his 
opportunity by giving an exhaustive account.^ 

" The whole order of the arraignment, judgment 

^C.R.S. ii. 279. Udid v. 155. ^Idtd v. 159. 

^R.O., Dom. Eliz., 217, i., 1588, 30 September,— transcribed by 
Richard Simpson in TAe Rambler^ N.S., vol. vii. pp. 279-83, 
April, 1857. 


and execution of Raffe Crockett and Edward James, 
at the Sessions of Oyer and Determiner, holden at 
Chichester, in Sussex, on the last day of September, 
anno 30° Dominae Elizabethae Reg. And of the like 
condemnation of John Oven and Francis Edwardes 
at the same time, whose execution notwithstanding 

" The Right Hon. the Lord Buckhurst having re- 
ceived direction from the other the right hon. the 
lords of her majesty's privy council, with the com- 
mission of oyer and determiner, and their examina- 
tions and forms of indictment of a priest, for his being 
within the realm after the statute made anno 27th 
of the Queen's reign, and of the indictment for 
the receiving of such a priest for the proceeding in 
their arraignments, sent carefully with all speed for 
Thomas Bowyer, to be with him at Lewes on Mon- 
day the 23d of September at night, signifying that he 
had to impart unto him matter of importance touch- 
ing her majesty's service. At which time the said 
Thomas Bowyer attending on his lordship and find- 
ing Mr. Richard Lewknor there also about the same 
cause, he was willed -by them to provide to give evi- 
dence against the persons aforenamed, and appointed 
the Monday last of September for the indictment, 
and Tuesday ist of October for the arraignment of 
them. The said Thomas Bowyer, although before 
that time he had received great discouragement for 
the executing of his duty in some cases against re- 
cusants, yet, in respect of his special duty to her 
majesty, he willingly took on him the charge, and on 
Monday the last of September, before Sir Thomas 


Palmer, Knight, Richard Lewknor, Esq., Walter 
Covert, Esq., Henry Goring, Esq., George Goring, 
Esq., and John Shyrley, Esq., in commission of oyer 
and determiner, a special jury of substantial free- 
holders being charged for the inquiry, viz. Henry 
Hodgeson, Thomas Murford, William Magewyke, 
John Pytt, William Westbrooke, Richard Bettes- 
worth, Edward Grene, John Scarvill, William 
Aylesse, Thomas Gunwyn, John Blackman, Thomas 
Bennett, John Slater, John Lancaster, Thomas 
Mychell, George Grene, John Osburne, William 
Rumbridger, Nicholas Osburne, John Clarck, John 
Sawnder, John Watson, and Robert Farneden, the 
said Thomas Bowyer preferred four several bills of 
indictment : 

" (i) Against Edward James, that he, being born 
at Beston in the county of Derby, and since the 
feast of St. John Baptist, in the first year of the 
queen,^ and before the 28th of April, in the 28th year, 
was made priest at Rome beyond sea, by authority 
derived from the see of Rome, the same 28th April was 
and remained at Little Hampton in Sussex, traitor- 
ously and as a traitor to our sovereign lady the queen, 
and contrary to the form of the statute in that case 

" (2) Against Raffe Crockett, born at Barton-on- 
the-Hill, in the county of Chester ; before the 28th 
day of April anno 28°, made priest at Rheims ; was 
the said 28th of April at Little Hampton in Sussex, &c. 

1 That is, Bowyer had it established that they were not 
Marian priests. They had committed " High Treason " simply 
by being seminary priests and by being in England at all. 


" (3) Against John Oven, born at Oxford in the 
county of Oxford ; before the ist of April anno 29 
made priest at Rheims ; was the said ist of April at 
Battle in Sussex. 

" (4) Against Francis Edwardes, born within the 
realm of England, viz. at Wrexham, in the county of 
Denbigh, in Wales ; before the last of July in the 27th 
year made priest at Rheims ; was the same last of 
July at Chichester in Sussex. (Here is to be noted, 
that the words of the statute are, ' born within the 
Realm of England, or any other her highness's do- 
minions '; and that the statute 27th Henry VHI, c. 
26, uniteth Wales to England. So the indictment 
well, — infra regnum Angliae,) 

" The long forenoon being spent about the appear- 
ance and charge of the jury, the quarter-sessions 
being also then kept too, in the short afternoon the 
said Thomas Bowyer attended on the inquest to 
inform them on the evidence ; and having each of 
the said prisoners* several examinations ^ taken at the 
prisons where they were, upon the effect of the sta- 
tute and common law opened to the inquest, and the 
perusing of the examinations, the inquest, after a 
little conference, found the bills, and presented them 
to the justices; and then forthwith were the said 
four prisoners brought to the bar, and severally ar- 
raigned ; each of them pleaded not guilty, and put 
themselves to trial of the country ; and although the 
day were very far spent, and the time of trial, by 

^ " Examinations " — for instance, those mentioned (or implied) 
in CR.S, V. 157; ii. 242, 243, 246, 251, 252, 254,255, 274,277, 



the Lord Buckhurst's order, appointed to be the 
Tuesday, to the intent that greater resort from the 
further parts of the shire might be present at it, yet 
the justices forthwith that evening proceeded to trial ; 
the jury charged for the trial were these, — John 
Mutton, Thomas Betsworth, John Stradlinge, John 
Bonner, John Duppa, Richard Hobson, Richard 
Cooke, Thomas East, William Ruffyn, John Turner, 
Thomas Grene and Richard Haler. 

" The order of the evidence was first the opening ; 
the effect of the statute of 27°, which was, that if any 
born within the queen's realm of England or her 
dominions, and made priest since the Nativity of St. 
John Baptist, in the first year of her reign, should 
after forty days after the end of the parliament of 270 
be and remain within the realm, that the same should 
be adjudged treason, and they to be condemned as 
traitors. Then was opened to the jury that the 
treasons whereof they were to be convicted were in- 
deed treasons by the common laws of the realm, and 
that the very same treasons were mentioned in the 
statute of 250 Edward III., as the adhering to her 
majesty's enemies, compassing and imagining the de- 
privation of the queen from her regal authority and life 
was not to be doubted to be their intent and purpose, 
which intent in treasons were sufficient to prove the 
party guilty, though the act were not executed, be- 
cause it would be too late to punish the offence after 
the act executed. This intent of theirs by the common 
law is to be proved by the overt fact, and only for the 
ease and satisfaction of the country at trial to prove 
the overt fact this statute was made ; for no man will 


doubt that the Pope is the queen's capital enemy, as 
one that hath gonei about by his sentence to deprive 
the queen of her estate, and to absolve her subjects of 
their fidelity and allegiance ; the authority whereof he 
hath claimed and established by the Council of La- 
teran,^ holden a.d. 1213, wherein he showeth himself 
to be very Antichrist at Rome ; and therefore each of 
them being natural born subjects to her majesty, and 
going out of the realm, and there adhering to the 
Pope, and by or under his authority taking an order 
of priesthood, and returning to win the queen's sub- 
jects to their faction, were without any question even 
by the common law to be adjudged traitors. All 
which by their own several examinations appeared to 
be true ; each of which examinations were to each 
of them and the jury upon each of their trials read, 
and could not be denied by them ; which proved 
sufficiently the matters contained in their several 
indictments, concurring with the effect of the statute. 
The examiners under whose hands the examinations 
were showed were John Puckering, serjeant-at-law, 
Peter Osburne, James Dalton, William Danyell, 
Nicholas Fuller, Richard Branthwayt, Richard Top- 
clyff and Richard Young, some to the one, some to 
the other. Their answer was, that they came only to 
do their function, which was to win people to the 
Catholic faith ; and that it was a cruel law to make 
their religion and the taking of priesthood to be 
treason, and that the time hath been that priesthood 

^The Twelfth CEcumenical Council, held in 121 5, in which 
fingland was represented. 



had been reverenced in England. To which it was 
said, they were far deceived to think that they were 
in question of any matter of religion ; but their offence 
was apparent treason, to go about to draw the queen's 
subjects from their obedience, and thereby to deprive 
the queen of her estate, with adhering also to the Pope, 
known to be the queen's mortal enemy. And the 
statute did no more but to make certain the overt 
fact, for the ease of the jury that should try the treason 
by their overt fact. And that they had even at the 
making of the act some of their own faction that de- 
fended their cause and spake against the bill, even 
Apharry,^ that came purposely over to take the 
queen's life away ; and therefore ^ they had no cause 
to find fault with the law, or to allege any cruelty 
therein. And Mr. Lewknor showed them that in the 
late time of Queen Mary it was made treason to pray 
for the queen, as by the statute is set down,^ which 

^ Dr. Parry, a Welsh adventurer, with some fine gifts, though 
of dissolute life. He sometimes posed as a Catholic, and alone 
had the courage to speak against the bill, 17 December, 1584. 
See Lingard, ffzst Eng. vol. vi. p. 376 ff. See D.N.B. and 
Months April, 1907. 

^ Bowyer's logic is here rather difficult to follow. Apparently 
his point was, that there could be no safety if papal emissaries 
were allowed in England. The law of 27 Elizabeth effected this, 
and made the task of the jury quite simple. It should not there- 
fore be called cruel. 

^ This shows bad faith. The Statute of i and 2 Philip and 
Mary, cap. ix., ordained that, " if any person pray or desire that 
God will shorten the Queen's days, or any such malicious prayer, 
amounting to the same effect, he shall be adjudged a traitor ". 
How different this was from Lewknor's version needs no other 


could not be any overt fact to declare any intent 
of treason. The Bishop of Chichester, then also 
present by reason of the quarter-sessions, did both 
show how they were deceived and abused in such 
points of religion as they professed, and that their 
religion was made but a cloak to cover their treasons ; 
and dealt most with John Oven, who in his youth was 
known to the bishop, and had received exhibition 
of him. The jury thereupon departed ; and after a 
while, returned and gave their verdict, finding each of 
them severally guilty : first, John Oven ; second, Raffe 
Crockett ; third, Francis Edwardes ; and Edward 
James last. At the giving of the verdict, Guilty, only 
Raffe Crockett said, 'Non timebo quid mihi facial 
homo ' ; the rest said little or nothing : whereupon 
they had, after their judgment, pronounced by Mr. 
Richard Lewknor according to their deserts, to be 
drawn, hanged, and quartered. After that, divers 
ministers offered to confer with them ; but of all other 
Crockett was most obstinate, both himself refusing of 
conference and in persuading the others to continue 
in their obstinacy and lewdness. But yet Oven first 
yielded to acknowledge the queen to be their and our 
sovereign, and to take the oath appointed by the 
statute of anno primo. Whereupon the justices and 
under-sheriff, knowing the queen's majesty's mercy 
to surpass all her other virtues, did reprieve him upon 
hope to obtain his pardon ; notwithstanding Thomas 
Bowyer moved the justices that he should take the 
oath publicly in the open sessions, and also freely and 

comment than Elizabeth's own, for she left it in force, and it was 
not repealed till 1863 ! {Statutes in Force^ i. p. 49.) 


from his heart declare openly those articles following, 
devised then by him for that purpose, and subscribe 
the same ; which was done at the quarter-sessions 
the Tuesday morning : 

" ' I, John Oven, do utterly renounce and forsake 
that point of doctrine holden by the Pope and his 
adherents, as a doctrine ^ traitorous ; whereby he 
claimeth, as by the Council of Lateran is expressed^ 
to absolve the subjects of that prince that he shall de- 
nounce to be an heretic of their fidelity to that prince, 
and to give the realm or lands of that prince to 
Catholics (as he calleth them), who should without 
controversy possess the same. 

" * I do also utterly detest and abhor all such (if any 
there be) as do imagine themselves dispensed withal 
for feignedly submitting themselves to the obedience 
of our sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth, until such 
time as the Pope shall otherwise appoint, or time 
serve their turn. 

** ' I do also promise to be aiding and assisting to 
all doings whatsoever that shall tend to the safety of 
her most royal person ; and shall, to the uttermost 
of my power, during my life, make known all such 
parties and practices as shall any way tend to the 
endangering of her most royal person ; whom I pray 
God long and long to preserve to reign over us.' 

"And so was John Oven reprieved, and is with my 
Lord of Chichester. 

" On the same Tuesday, about noon, the other 
three, Edward James, Raffe Crockett, and Francis 

^ In the margin^ " It was devised ' Anti-Christian and traitor- 
ous ' ; but that was put out by one of the justices ". 


Edwardes, were drawn all on one hurdle towards the 
place of execution, at Broyle Heath, little more than a 
quarter of a mile without the north gate of Chichester, 
divers ministers attending on them. But both James 
and Crockett, but especially Crockett, refused all con- 
ference ; and so Crockett was first taken to execution. 
And before his going up the ladder, he kneeled down 
to James to have absolution ; and as a minister 
standing by reported to me, required it in these 
words, ' Pater, absolve mihi ' ; and so had absolution ; 
and so had James the like of Crockett. At his first 
coming up and turning himself on the ladder, he 
blessed the people with this term, ' As many as were 
capable of his blessing'; then all, for the most part, 
crying aloud, that they refused his blessing, and 
would not be capable of it. Then he spake somewhat 
in excuse of himself; and that he died for religion, 
and coming to execute his function of priesthood. 
But Mr. Walter Covert and Mr. Richard Lewknor, 
justices present, caused him to stay his proceeding 
in that speech, saying that it was treason, and not a 
matter of religion that he was condemned for. Then 
he offered to pray in Latin ; the people crying out to 
him, * Pray in English, and they would pray with 
him '. And so, after a few prayers in Latin to him- 
self, he was executed according to his desert ; Edward 
James all that while kneeling alone in his prayers. 
And then taken to execution, at his first coming and 
turning himself on the ladder, he said in EngHsh, 
lifting up his eyes, * Into Thy hands I commit my 
soul, O Lord ; Thou hast redeemed me, O God of 
truth ' : which prayer the people liked well, and 


commended. But suddenly he turned to his Latin 
speeches, the people crying out to him to pray in 
English ; and was very shortly executed, also accord- 
ing to his deserts. 

"All this while of their execution, the ministers 
there were very busy in conference with Francis 
Edwardes, who, until Edward James was off from 
the ladder, would never relent ; but then forthwith 
he began to yield, to be conformable, and to acknow- 
ledge the queen's authority ; and so was by the 
sheriff, with the allowance of Mr. Lewknor and Mr. 
Covert, stayed from execution : and so now remaineth 
in the house of Mr. Henry Blackstone, one of the 
residentiaries of the church of Chichester, and, as I 
understand, did in the afternoon take the oath of 
anno primo publicly at the sessions, and declare and 
subscribe the same articles that John Oven did." 

Thus ends the verbose account of this officious 
magistrate. In it are brought into strong relief the 
heroism and steadfast character of Ralph Crockett. 
He stands out the more clearly in contrast to the 
poor creatures who yielded to their terror and said 
the words their persecutors put into their mouths. 
Such a strong and energetic soul was destined by 
God, we should have thought, to do great and visible 
work for the salvation of his country. But no ; 
martyrdom is more than missionary success. Sanguis 
Marty rum semen ecclesice. " The souls of the just are 
in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall 
not touch them." 

F. P. H. 


Authorities.— R. Simpson, TAe Rambler^ N.S., vol. vii. pp. 
269-94 ; Massacre of 1588^ C.R.S. v. 1 50-60, Catalogue of Marty rs^ 
ibid. 288-93 '■> Douay Diaries. Morris, Troubles^ iii. Challoner. 
Gillow, Biog. Diet. Eng. Cath. Stanton, Menology of England 
and Wales. 

Relics. — A quarter was formerly at Douay, where Bishop 
Challoner saw it. By its size it " was judged to be Mr. Crockett's, 
he having been a tall man, whereas Mr. James was of low 
stature ". 



Chichester, I October, 1588. 

Edward James was born at Beston in Derbyshire 
about the year 1559, and went to the grammar-school 
at Derby. In his sixteenth ^ year he entered the 
university of Oxford and studied for four years under 
Keble White at St. John's College. To do this he 
had to conform at least outwardly to the state religion 
by going to church, but he could not in conscience 
take the oath of supremacy ; he therefore left Oxford 
without graduating. Coming to London he fell under 
the influence of a good Catholic named Bradley, who 
convinced him of his inconsistency and wavering 
conduct. The young man was not only converted : 
he fervently determined to become a priest and to 
work for the conversion of his country. Bradley 
forwarded this good purpose by providing him with 
money amply sufficient for his journey to the con- 
tinent, and by introducing him to the Blessed William 

1 In 1575 he was eighteen according to Foster, Alumni Ox- 
onienses,! $00-17 14, n. 798 ; but twenty-one in 1 580 according to 
Foley, S.J., /Records, vi. 143. 



Fylby/ who was just starting for Douay. Early in 
October, 1579, they left Dover in an English ship 
and arrived at Calais. The college had been re- 
moved from Douay to Rheims in the previous year, 
so to Rheims they went. But Edward James did 
not enter the college. He lived in the town with the 
future martyr Edward Stransham for nine months, 
during which time, no doubt, he attended lectures 
and prepared in every way for his future work. On 
4 August, 1580, he departed with ten other students 
to the English College at Rome, was admitted and 
took the college oath 16 May, 1581. He received 
the minor orders early in 1581 from Bishop Goldwell 
(who was in exile for the faith from the see of St. 
Asaph), and the subdiaconate in November, 1582. 
At the same ordination he received the diaconate, 
and in October, 1583, he was ordained priest. Not 
until September, 1585, did he leave Rome for the 
English mission. " In September," says the Diary 
of the English College, '' the Rew. Robert Bennett, 
Edmund Calverley, Edward James and Christopher 
Atherton left for the English mission. They were 
admitted to kiss the feet of his Holiness, who received 
them most graciously, and made them a present of 
200 crowns for their journey. He was further pleased 
to grant to them the faculties imparted to the last 
band of missionaries, and to empower them to ad- 
minister the Sacraments in England, and to absolve 

^ Douay Diaries^ Series i. and ii. p. 157. Lives of the Eng- 
lish Martyrs^ vol. ii. p. 491. Simpson's conjecture that it was 
John Filbie alias Byforest, is incorrect. 


from all reserved cases and censure, even from those 
contained in the Bulla Coenae." ^ 

Edward James arrived at Rheims in November, 
according to the Douay Diary^ and stayed there a 
few months. Among the papers of the English 
College at Rome there is one endorsed : '* Petition 
of fifty scholars for retaining the Fathers of the 
Society of Jesus, 1586". One of the signatures is 
"James Edward, priest," and it is marked with a 
cross to indicate that he was a martyr. At first sight 
it seems that the date is too late, or that our martyr 
cannot be the person in question. But the difficulty 
of the date is not peculiar to his case : for the three 
companions who, in 1585, left Rome with him for the 
English mission, are also to be found on this list 
dated 1586. *' Bennet, Robert, priest" heads the list, 
Edmund Calverley signs himself" priest, " and so does 
Christopher Atherton. There are two alternatives : 
either they signed in 1585 when the list was still 
hardly more than a proposal and it was not ready to 
be presented until the next year, or else the list was 
not framed at all until 1586 and was then sent to 
these four priests who had left Rome but a few 
months before. Against the latter alternative is the 
fact that Robert Bennet heads the list : for the first 
name would hardly be that of one absent from the 
college. Moreover the four names do not come at 
the end of the list as this hypothesis would lead us to 
expect, nor do they even occur together. On the 
whole it appears more probable that they signed at an 

^ A Papal sentence of excommunication published against 
heretics every Maundy Thursday. 



earlier stage of the movement, perhaps in 1585 just 
before they left. Then the date of its presentation to 
the Cardinal Protector would have been appended 
to the document which had taken some time to com- 
plete. It is curious that though it is a " Petition of 
fifty scholars" there are only forty-nine signatures. 
But there are two names erased.^ 

On 7 February, 1586, Edward James left Rheims 
for the English mission accompanied by a priest who 
called himself Stephen and concealed his surname. 
He was the Venerable Stephen Rowsham who had 
been banished the previous year from England and 
was therefore obliged to use the utmost caution. 
About five weeks later he met his fellow-martyr Ralph 
Crockett for the first time at Dieppe, where he and 
his companion were waiting for a chance to cross the 
Channel. Arrangements were made, as related in the 
life of the Venerable Ralph Crockett, and Daniell the 
shipowner of Newhaven, through malice or incapacity, 
touched at Littlehampton, a part of the Sussex coast 
particularly suspected and jealously guarded at that 
time. Three days elapsed and on 19 April the Sheriff 
boarded the vessel and arrested the four passengers — 
Bramston, Potter, Crockett, and James. It is re- 
corded of the first three that they were examined by 
Mr. Justice Shelley at Littlehampton prior to their 
imprisonment in the Marshalsea, and, as was natural, 

^ Since the above was written Dr. A. O. Meyer has published 
the report of the visitation of the English College, Rome, in 
1585-6. The above petition was evidently connected with the 
visitation, and this explains why the signatures were not all made 
together at one time.— Ed. 


James was examined there also. Walsingham sent 
him with them to the Marshalsea for a few days. 
They were committed on 27 April and examined 
on the 30th, whereas James did not appear before 
Topcliife until the next day, i May. At any rate we 
know that from that date until the end of Sep- 
tember two years later he was confined in the Clink. 
He seems to have been overlooked for some time by 
those in charge of him, for we find in the notes of 
various prison officials and in their reports questions 
such as these : " Quaere, whither comytted ? and by 
whom ? Where remained time of Pardon A^ 29 ? " 
Then marginal notes are entered answering these 
questions. As time went on the reports became more 
explicit. Under the heading Sussex, Serjeant Pucker- 
ing's Instructions say : *' Edward James — Born in 
Derbishire made preest four years past beyond sea 
apprehended in April A^ 28 Reginae in Sussex in a 
ship resting on land and committed by Mr. Secretary ^ 
and there remained ever since. So the offence of being 
here not pardoned by the generall pardon of 29 Reg^^ 
because all persons be ther excepted out of the pardon, 
which the last day of the said parliament were re- 

^ Father Pollen here refers to C.R.S. ii. 246, "where he is said 
to have been committed to the Clink by Topcliffe, not by Walsing- 
ham," and therefore concludes that James was included in the 
pardon. But was he not committed to the Marshalsea (for a few 
days) by Walsingham, and then to the Clink by Topcliffe who 
examined him i May ? See C.R.S. v. 1 57 : "... first to the Mar- 
shalsea by Mr. Secretary " (that is with the other three taken at 
Littlehampton) "after to the Clink i^ Maii 1586, and there rem- 
ever since ", For the general pardon, see Introduction, § iii, 


strained of their liberty by direction from some of 
the priuy Counsel." This document bears the date 
30 August, 1588, and the heading Sussex indicates 
that Walsingham had a scheme for executing a num- 
ber of priests sufficient to terrorize those whom he 
supposed sympathetic with the Spanish invasion. 
This was the document that settled the martyr's 
fate: for trials in those days — especially those that 
were so carefully planned and prearranged — were 
always foregone conclusions and merely served to 
impress an ignorant and servile populace with the 
majesty and justice of the law which made the 
Catholic religion a crime. 

Father Christopher Grene in his account of martyr- 
doms {Collectanea E),^ tells us that Edward James 
was conveyed to Horsham and thence to Chichester. 
The martyr is here described as " a man very modest 
and humble, ever contemning death, much given to 
meditation, and receiving thereby many spiritual 
consolations ". With this little summary agrees the 
sketch of our martyr drawn for us in the Stonyhurst 
MS. : ^ *' Mr. James, a verie mild and virteuouse 
man much given to meditation, and had in the same 
so greate consolation that sometymes he could not 
refraine but express the same by outward signs ". 
A full account of the trial and martyrdom is given in 
the life of the Venerable Ralph Crockett. Companions 
in the vessel that brought them on their work of 
ministry, they shared the disappointment of being 
captured without celebrating a mass, administering 

1 Morris, Trouifles^ iii. 37, ^ C'./?.^, v. 290, 


a sacrament 6r speaking a word to the flock for whom 
they were ordained. Separated for two years into 
different prisons they met again to profess their faith 
together on the scaffold. Crockett w^as the first to 
suffer, for Edward James was considered to be of 
weaker character, and whilst his companion suffered 
he was *' all that while kneeling alone in his prayers. 
And then taken to execution, at his first coming 
and turning himself on the ladder, he said in English, 
lifting up his eyes, ' Into Thy hands I commit my 
soul, O Lord ; Thou hast redeemed me, O God of 
truth '." 1 

Thus in death he triumphed over human weak- 
ness. Richard Simpson ^ says of his character : " He 
was a man evidently far inferior to Crockett in his 
physical capacity ; a little person ; naturally some- 
what timorous, and disposed to reflect with some im- 
patience on those who, he thought, had brought him 
into such a scrape, — namely Bradley, who converted 
him and sent him to Rome, and the authorities who 
had administered the oath ; yet, after all, his noble 
will overcame the infirmities of his organization, and 
he firmly refused to purchase his life by the sacrifice 
of his faith. But he was not so brave nor so circum- 
spect as Crockett, who would not mention a single 
name, nor compromise any Catholic by his confession ; 
for he divulged the name of a Mr. Fortescue, living 
about Holborn, to whom he had be^en directed as a 
* comforter of priests '." But this weakness is wonder- 

^ Bowyer's report of the trial and execution. Rambler^ N.S,, 
vH. p. 283. 

2 Rambler, N.S., vii. p. 275, 


fully transformed in his martyrdom. He had to bear 
the torture of seeing his friend cruelly done to death, 
knowing that he was kept back because he was ex- 
pected to give way. Yet he both stood firm himself 
and even kept a strong influence over the wretched 
man who came to the very brink of death for the 
faith, and then turned back. " The ministers there," 
says Bowyer, '' were very busy in conference with 
Francis Edwardes, who, until Edward James was off 
from the ladder, would never relent ; but then forth- 
with he began to yield, to be conformable, and to ac- 
knowledge the queen's authority." But who shall 
say that our martyr worked in vain. The confession 
of faith which he made by his long captivity was 
potent as an example to his fellow-prisoners, just as 
the noble sacrifice of his life for the faith is a lesson 
of consolation to all who know by sad experience the 
weakness of human nature. 

F. P. H. 

Authorities. — R. Simpson in The Rambler^ N.S., vol. viii. 
pp. 269-84. Massacre of J^SS, C.R.S.v. 150-65. Catalogue of 
Martyrs, ibid. 290 ; Douay Diaries. Foster, Alumni Oxonienses. 
Morris, Troubles, iii. Challoner. Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. 
Stanton, Menology of England and Wales. Diary of Eng. 
Coll., Rome, Foley, Records, vi. A. O. Meyer, England und 
die k'atholische kirche unter Elizabeth, Rome, 191 1, pp. 428-54. 





Ipswich, I October, 1588. 

From the time of St. Lawrence down to our own day 
there have always been martyrs who could face the 
most cruel death with a smile on their face and a jest 
on their lips. This may truly be said of the Venerable 
John Robinson, an old man at the time of his death, 
yet one who kept the heart of a child right up to the 

He was born at Fernsby in the North Riding of 
Yorkshire, at what date is unknown. He grew up 
with no thought of the priesthood, for he married 
and had a son, named Francis, w^ho was born in 
1569 and who was worthy in every respect of such a 
father. Of him we shall speak later. 

On the death of his w^ife, feeling called to the priest- 
hood, he resolved to devote himself to the missionary 
life and for that purpose entered the English College 
at Rheims. The date of his arrival there is uncer- 
tain, but in all probability his seminary course was 
considerably curtailed on account of his age. The 



first mention of his name in the Douay Diaries comes 
under the date of 15 August, 1584, on which day he 
returned to Rheims from England whither he had 
gone, we may suppose, to visit his son who at this 
time was fifteen years of age. Hence it was some 
time before 15 August, 1584, that he first entered 

In April of the following year he received the 
diaconate and the priesthood ; the diaconate on 6 
April — the Vigil of Passion Sunday, and the priest- 
hood, 20 April — Holy Saturday, in the Cathedral 
at Rheims. Within two months he set out for the 
mission accompanied by three companions. It was 
on 14 June, 1585, that he left the college walls, no 
doubt with a light heart, rejoicing that now at last 
he was to labour in the vineyard of the Lord. Before 
the month was ended, however, he had already begun 
a long term of imprisonment, which was to terminate 
only with his execution. 

He arrived in England about 16 June, O.S., the 
feast of Pentecost, according to the report of his ex- 
amination drawn up about three years later, and 
which places his arrival in England during Whitsun- 
tide. According to some accounts it would appear 
that he was captured in the harbour, coming from 
Douay, but from the document referred to above, 
which will be quoted at length hereafter, it would 
seem that he landed in the South of England first 
and then shortly after took ship again for the North. 

One would naturally expect that on disembarking 
his thoughts would turn to his son from whom he had 
now been separated for so long, and as the sphere of 

32 * 


his missionary activities would naturally have been 
the north, we can easily understand why he should 
proceed thither on his arrival. To escape observation 
the more easily, he contemplated doing the journey 
by sea. 

The ship in which he sailed — probably from London 
and bound for Newcastle — put in at a little harbour 
near Yarmouth Roads or as some say at Laystoke 
(? Lowestoft), in Suffolk. It was in this harbour that 
his priesthood was discovered and he was promptly 
arrested, then by order of the Lord Treasurer and the 
Privy Council was sent up to London and imprisoned 
in the Clink. The notice of his committal to the 
Clink occurs in one of the prison lists dated Mid- 
summer, 1586. 

" The Clink. John Robinsone, a semynarye priest 
comyted the laste daye of June 1585 by Rt. Hon : 
the Lord Treasurer of England and others of Her 
Majestie's most honourable pryvye Counsell, and not 
since examined." 

This prison was in Southwark adjoining the palace 
of the Bishops of Winchester. It was not very large 
and perhaps for that reason was more comfortable 
than most of the rest, since but few could be ad- 
mitted into it. It was called the CHnk from being 
the prison of the Clink liberty or Manor of Southwark 
belonging to the Bishops of Winchester.^ 

Here the Venerable John Robinson endured over 

three years' imprisonment — a period sufficient to test 

the most courageous virtue. Such prisoners as he 

could never tell at what time they might be called up 

1 Foley, Records, 


for trial or to answer with their lives for the temerity 
which had induced them to incur the penalty of high 

The character of our martyr, which underwent such 
a severe test during these three years, is thus described 
by Dr. Champney in a few words : " He was a man 
of extraordinary Christian simplicity and sincerity, 
in a word, a true Israelite in whom there was no 
guile ". From Dodd we learn that his age and grave 
behaviour during his imprisonment in the Clink pur- 
chased him the name of Father. It was a saying of 
his that, if he could not dispute for his faith, he could 
die for it as well as the best. 

In December, 1586, it was suggested that Mr. 
Robinson should be removed from the Clink and sent 
to Wisbech or such-like place. At this time the 
Government was trying to clear a number of the 
prisons in London, so that there might be plenty of 
prison room for Babington and his companions, whose 
arrest Sir Francis Walsingham was anticipating. 
The Clink, however, was not disturbed, probably be- 
cause it was too small to be of any great service. 
Thus our martyr remained there, and his . name is 
continually occurring in the prison lists for the 
Clink from the years 1585 to 1588. In one of them 
he is described as an old priest and classed among 
these " of small wit and honesty " or " of no account ". 
His very harmlessness probably caused the authorities 
to leave him unmolested for so long a time. He ap- 
pears to have been examined sometime after Mid- 
summer, 1586, for in the report of his final examination, 
he appears to have just escaped pardon, and to have 


been then restrained again by direction of one of the 
Privy Council.^ 

The persecution which broke out after the defeat 
of the Armada brought the good old man to the 
scaffold. He was suddenly called up for examination 
by order of the Privy Council some time between i6 
August and 20 August. He confessed himself a priest 
without any hesitation, but during his examination 
the manner of his arrest must have come up for discus- 
sion, and not being satisfied with the legality of it, the 
commissioners remanded him for further examination.^ 

^ There was a general pardon offered to religious prisoners 
in the year 1587. See Introduction, § iii. 

^From Father Grene's account one would think that the 
martyr was captured in the harbour from the ship which carried 
him from France. He writes as follows : — 

" Divers priests taken at or presently on their landing, it not 
appearing directly that their intention was for England. Not- 
withstanding they were indicted arraigned condemned and exe- 
cuted as flat within the compass of the statute ; as four priests at 
Durham, Mr. Gerard and Mr. Dickinson in Kent, others in the 
Isle of White and Mr. Robinson at Ipswich, with Divers others." 
Morris, Troubles^ iii. pp. 33 and 34. 

In the examination lists drawn up in August, 1588, and handed 
in to Serjeant Puckering, we find Mr. Robinson was one of those 
who had to be examined further, and in one of them certain 
questions were marked down against his name presumably by 
Puckering himself. The document is as follows : — 

" To ex[amine further] 

" 5. John Robinson. Si taken at anker in Yarmouth road go- 
ing to Newcastle (en verity nere laystoke en Suff). Si c st ven 
[? ce soit venant] (or being) en le realme. / Si comyt ever since / 
per qx comyt (per Lj Treasurer) & a quel prison (al clink) / & 
lou rem. qt pardon 29 Eliz. (en clink)," 


Mr. Robinson having been again cross-examined, the 
case against him was drawn up by Serjeant Puckering, 
the Crown Advocate, as follows : — 

" A Note of the evidence as I collected it and wrote 
it down for and against the persons hereafter named : — 

" Suffolk. 

" John Robinson. He was born in Yorkshire, made 
priest beyond sea about Easter Anno 27 Reginae, and 
at Whitsuntide after coming into England to do the 
office of a priest was put into a little harbour in 
Suffolk and there apprehended and committed by 
my L. Treasurer. 

" Not pardoned because he was then restrained by 
direction of one of the Privy Council.'* 

This document is said to be in Puckering's hand- 
writing, and it was draw n up probably a few days be- 
fore 12 September, on or before which date some of 
the martyrs were sent into different counties to be 
arraigned, and receive sentence. The martyrs were 
generally tried and executed in the counties where 
they had been captured, so in this case John Robin- 
son was to be sent down to Suffolk.^ 

The words in round brackets are interlined^ all afterwards 

The words in square brackets are suggestions as to interpreta- 
tion given by Father Pollen. See C.R.S. v. 157. 

^ From this document it appears evident that the martyr had 
landed in England before proceeding North, otherwise his arrest 
at sea would not have made him guilty under 27 Elizabeth. 
And though some priests arrested at sea were found guilty, the 
plea was usually stated in the evidence, and on those occasions 
at least their lives were spared. 


It is curious to notice that Mr. Robinson was not 
pardoned because he was " then restrained by direc- 
tion of one of the Privy Council ". This is explained 
by the fact that in the year 1587 (see Introduction) 
there was a general pardon granted for all, except 
those imprisoned for certain gross crimes, and for 
prisoners of state, such as those confined in certain 
important prisons, as the Marshalsea, or by the order 
of any member of the Privy Council. 

It was with an eager heart that the good old priest 
looked forward to the day of his final sentence and 
martyrdom. It happened that two of his fellow- 
prisoners in the Clink were the Venerable William 
Way and the Venerable Edward James. The former 
was eventually martyred at Kingston, the latter at 
Chichester. When these two holy men were sent for 
to be arraigned he was so overcome with sorrow at 
not being one of them that he cried out, " Jesu, Jesu, 
Jesu ! how happy were I, if God would bestow so good 
a ttirn upon me, as I might now die for this cause," 
and being left one of the last, suspecting that he 
should not be sent for, he wept bitterly. 

His prayer was not long left unanswered, for 
shortly after a warrant was sent from the Council 
ordering his trial and execution. This news so 
gladdened the old man's heart that he fell down at 
the feet of the messenger, who brought him the war- 
rant, and thanked him, giving him all the money he 
had together with his best gown. The place assigned 
for his martyrdom was Ipswich in Suffolk, where 
the sight of his suffering, in the chief town, would 
crush any lingering hopes of the Catholic succession 


entertained by the " Papists " in that part of the 

The journey thither from the Clink was a matter 
of fifty or sixty miles, and the prison officials, having 
some compassion on him on account of his age, en- 
deavoured to get him a horse to carry him thither. 
Some difficulty was experienced in getting one, but 
when the old man heard of it, he begged them not to 
trouble, saying, " I need no horse, I will go on foot 
with as good a will as you ride ". Seeing that he 
was determined to walk they tried to persuade him 
to wear boots — which were only used for riding in 
those days — because the roads were extremely rough. 
Again he refused and with marvellous good humour 
replied, '' Nay, these legs had never boots on yet, 
since they were mine, and now surely they shall per- 
form the journey without boots, for they shall be 
well paid for their pains ". With great joy he took 
his leave of the prison, and set out on foot for his long 
journey. We may be sure that this journey was 
more like a triumphal march for him, and his happy 
spirit and unfailing good humour sustained him along 
the rough country roads. 

Arrived at Ipswich he was quickly arraigned and 
condemned to be hanged, bowelled, and quartered. 
We are told that at his trial he answered the judge 
so resolutely, that the latter remarked to the court, 
" I think this fellow intended to be hanged," where- 
upon the old man humorously replied, " For what else 
did I come hither ? " 

He suffered most patiently at Ipswich on i October, 
1588, and thus obtained the crown of martyrdom 


which he had desired with so great a longing during 
his wearisome captivity. 

The martyr's head was secured as a relic after the 
execution, and we hear of it being " fetched from Ips- 
wich with apparent danger out of the midst of the 
town ". To what place it was taken we cannot dis- 
cover, and probably it has long since disappeared. 

To return to Father Robinson's son — Francis. 
Imitating his father's heroic virtue, he determined to 
enter the priesthood and at the age of twenty-three m 
was admitted to the English College at Rome. This 
was in 1592. Five years later, in 1597, he was or- 
dained at Rome, whence he was sent to Rheims for 
a time and thence to the English Mission. He was 
not long in England before he was arrested and in 
1603 was banished the country with many othersj 
After his exile he went to Douay, but filled with the 
true missionary spirit, he could not remain there long.i 
Almost immediately he returned to England andj 
made his way to the North, where he remained for 
many years working among that persecuted yet de-^ 
voted band of Catholics who kept the faith alive ini 
those parts, when it had been almost obliterated else- 
where. In the Durham clergy list for 1632 we findj 
his name recorded as a seminary priest on the Dur-j 
ham Mission. How long he lived after this, we can- 
not tell, but his whole life was modelled on that of] 
his saintly father, and though he did not win thej 
martyr's crown, he was nevertheless a true confessor] 
for the faith. 

In the beginning of February, 1590, news arrived at 
Rheims of the martyrdom of Venerable John Robin- 


son, and his name was added to that noble band of 
priests who had gone forth from those College walls 
to seal their testimony with their blood. 


Authorities. — Dodd, Church Hist. vol. ii. Challoner. 
Gillow, Bibliographical Dictionary of English Catholics. Douay 
Diaries. Foley, Records^ Series xii. ; Diary and Pilgrim Book 
of Eng. Coll.^ Rome. Morris, Troubles., Series ii. and iii. C.R.S. 
vols. ii. and v. 




Mile End Green, 5 October, 1588. 

In the performance of their duty the Lord Mayor, 
Recorders, and Aldermen of the city of York addressed 
a certificate to *' the right honourable Earl of Hunting- 
don, Lord Lieutenant and Lord President in the 
North Parts " on the last day of January in the year 
1593- It concerned the fortunes of English Catholics 
abroad : they were interested in them, and for this 
reason. The Penal Law known as 27th Elizabeth 
enacted the penalty of high treason against all laymen 
educated in any seminary beyond the seas '* who shall 
not return to this realm and there take the oath of 
supremacy within six months after royal proclamation 
made in the City of London ". It also forbade the 
education of English children abroad under penalty of 
^^'loo. The " Royal Proclamation " had been made 
some years before, and the inquisition was ferretting 
out such as had ventured to ignore it. So the docu- 
ment continues : " Touching the sons or kinsmen of 



gentlemen and others under their charge or whom they 
relieve or maintain out of the realm, sent or departed 
over the seas forth of the said city ". And amongst 
others it gives this item : *' John Hewett, son of 
William Hewett, sometime of this city, draper, de- 
ceased, went over the seas about eight years since 
to what place we know not, neither where he is 
remaining nor how or by whom he is relieved ". 

The Mayor of York and his brethren in office have 
here told us what we should not otherwise have known, 
that John Hewett was the son of William Hewett 
who had lived for some time as a draper in York ; it 
remains for us to fill in the rest of his story, but it 
had ended long before the Mayor drew up his docu- 
ment in 1593. 

John Hewett spent his early years in England, 
where in all probability he finished his education- 
One account points to his having been a student of 
Caius College, Cambridge, but he may possibly be the 
John Hewett set down amongst the Alumni Oxoni- 
enses as ''John Hewett (Hewitt or Huit) B.A. 18 
Nov. 1569 ". However, he afterwards went to the 
English College at Rheims, where he is noted in the 
Diaries as John Huit in 1583, receiving the Tonsure 
and Minor Orders on 23 September in that year. 
In the course of the two years which followed he 
received the subdiaconate and the diaconate, and 
according to the Diaries was sent into England in 
1585, probably in the summer months. He came to 
his own city of York, and the reason for his journey is 
not known, as he was still only a deacon, but it is 
generally conjectured that he was suffering from ill- 


health at the time. Whatever was the reason of his 
going, his reception was uncongenial enough, for his 
city received him into its prisons. The keeper of re- 
cognizances in the Castle of Kingston-upon-Hull gave 
a receipt for ten priests dated 23 August, 1585 ; " John 
Hewett, a popish subdeacon," was amongst the 
number and also a priest, John Marshe. The keeper, 
who signs himselfjohn Beyebeye, was possibly not too 
well informed as to his prisoner's orders, as there is 
every reason for supposing his prisoner a deacon ; but 
John Hewett was in bad hands. The prisons of the 
Castle and the Blockhouse, both kept by this tyrant, 
" were wont to be the worst places for extremity 
showed, in all this north country," says a contempor- 
ary appreciation of his services. Nor did he improve 
with the times, for looking ahead we learn that in 
1591 '*he carried Stephen Branton from Hull Castle 
to North Blockhouse ; for that he could not give as 
much rent as the keeper asked and there kept a long 
space in a low house by himself". To this very spot 
John Hewett may have come, for his name is given 
with that often others as confined " in the low prison " 
in some " Notes by a Prisoner in Ousebridge Kidcote 
Their treatment, it would seem, was unusually harsh ; 
after describing its severity the note ends : " This 
continued in force for the space of one year and thirty 
weeks, until they were ashamed at the voice of the 
people ". 

However, John Hewett's stay must have been 
comparatively short, for he was probably banished in 
the following September. 

The Douay Diaries give seventy-two priests as exiled 


in 1585. In January, from the Tower and elsewhere, 
twenty priests and a layman ; in September from 
York, twenty-two — John Hewett may be safely in- 
cluded ; and from London thirty others and two 
laymen. On 7 November of the same year he re- 
turned to the College with a priest David Kemp, 
some years his senior, having been ordained in 1581 ; 
" there came to us David Kemp, priest, and John 
Huit, deacon (thus contradicting Keeper Beyebeye), 
released from York Castle and sent into exile ". 
John Marsh, a priest who had shared his imprison- 
ment with him, did not reach the College till 12 
December. A manuscript by Father Holtby, S.J., 
evidently tells this story, he gives ten priests as released 
from York prisons and sent into exile in this year, 
including John Marsh, and continues :' " To these add 
John Hugh [sic] Deacon, who, on being promoted to 
priestly orders, returned again into England ". 

Hewett was ordained, according to the Douay 
Diaries, before the end of December, though neither 
date nor place of ordination is given, and set out 
with Kemp and Marsh (and again the destination is 
not given), on 7 January, 1586. 

The Diary seems expressly to avoid saying that 
they set out for England ; of others entered under 
the same date it is said that they departed for Eng- 
land, of Hewett, Marsh, and Kemp, however, it 
simply says that they '' departed". They may have 
departed on some of the other work in which the 
president of the College employed the exiles instead 
of sending them again into England. The signifi- 
cance of this will appear later. 


It is hardly likely that Hewett ever returned to 
his own city of York ; certainly the officials of that 
city had no suspicion of it, since, when they reported 
in 1593, their only knowledge was that he had " gone 
over" in 1585. 

However, the year after he had left the College 
he is found in England. He was lying in Newgate 
Prison in 1587, where we get one of our most vivid 
impressions of him. It happened that a layman and 
future martyr Nicholas Horner, a tailor, had one of 
his limbs so badly used by the irons that it had to 
be amputated ; and he was helped through the ordeal 
*' by means that a good priest, to wit, Mr. Huit, who j 
was afterwards a martyr, who did hold his head be- " 
twixt his hands whilst it was adoing ". 

From this time on till we find the next mention of 
him, which is in the great sessions of 1588, John _ 
Hewett may have been left in prison, or, if he sue- ^ 
ceeded in concealing his identity, which is possible 
since it was his first imprisonment in the South, he 
may have been banished a second time. However 
this may be, he was certainly a prisoner again byj 
the August of 1588. We are told in the Relation byi 
Peter Penkevel, who was himself a prisoner for re- 
ligion in the same year, that John Hewett was not 
included in the number tried at the first session oi 
Newgate in the St. Bartholomewtide of 1588. " Itj 
was determined that within a short time after there] 
should be all priests in Wisbyche and very many; 
other Catholics arraigned, but the Earl of Lester] 
dying the same while in extraordinary manner caused i 
a sudden stop to those proceedings. 


" But within two months after, the magistrates 
returning to their accustomed practice, there were 
arraigned Mr. Huit and Mr. Hartley, pr. Mr. Huit 
refused to be tried by jury, for that he was loath, as 
he told the judges, that those ignorant men that 
understood not the case should be burthened with 
his blood ; and referred the matter unto the judges' 
consciences, and notwithstanding that he proved 
there openly that they had no just matter against 
him, and that he, being banished, was from the Low 
Countries sent into England prisoner by the Earl of 
Leicester, yet nevertheless they proceeded against 
him and without a jury condemned him to be hanged 
and quartered. The next morning he was carried to 
Mylane Greene [Mile End Green], where he in the 
cart disputed openly with the preachers, whiles one 
went to the Court to know the Queen's pleasure con- 
cerning his quartering, who was found so favourable 
that she would have him but hanged. In this space 
he reproved and proved the said minister of many 
shameful lies, and behaving himself in all respects 
both discretly and constantly was there martyred." — 
Thus Peter PenkeveVs Relation. 

Here the story of John Hewett ended for the earlier 
martyrologists. In our own time, however, the story 
of John Weldon has come to light, which bears an 
extraordinary likeness to his, though they are not 
quite identical. We will compare them point by 
point, and the conclusion we shall reach is, that 
Weldon is really only an alias for Hewett ; and that 
the variations are accounted for. by the temperament 
and point of view of the new witness. 



The document which tells the story of Weldon was 
written and printed in London in the same year, 1588, 
and is entitled : ^ " A true report of the Indictment, 
arraignment, conviction, condemnation and execution 
of John Weldon, and William Hartley and Robert 
Sutton, who suffered for high Treason in several places 
about the Citie of London, on Saturday the fifth of 
October, anno 1588, with the speeches which passed 
between a learned preacher and them : faithfully col- 
lected, even to the same words as neere as might be 
remembered. By one of credit that was present at 
the time." It is safe to conclude from internal evi- 
dence that the account was written by one of the 
"preachers" — and maybe henceforth referred to as 
the Preacher's Account. 

1. Before comparing the facts of this story with 
those given in that of John Hewett by Peter Penkevel 
it is well to note first that the name John Weldon, 
with the corresponding alias " Savell," does not ap- 
pear in the Seminary Lists abroad, though Weldon 
was known to be a seminary priest ; nor does he^ 
appear in official papers until two years before hii 
death, though he was known by circumstances to b< 
a banished man.- — So that it is probable that thij 
trick of taking an alias was used by him more thai 
once, and that '* John Weldon " concealed his identit 
from the Government till the day of his death. 

2. The document tells us that " John Weldon, priesi 

1 It was this document which led to the identification of Hewet 
and Weldon by Mr. T. G. Law in an article in the Month, i87< 
vol, 3(vi. series iii. pp. 71-85. The tract itself is at OscoU. 



was born in Tollerton, in the county of York, some- 
time student in Caius College, Cambridge " — we only 
know of John Hewett that he was a Yorkshire man 
and included under ** sons of kinsmen of gentlemen, 
and others under their charge of whom they relieve 
or maintain out of the realm " ; his identity with 
''John Hewett (Hewitt or Huit), B.A.," of Oxford, 
whose college is not given, cannot be taken as more 
than possible. 

3. He " was indicted by the name of John Weldon 
alias Savell, late of Gray's Inn Lane" — the preacher 
does not seem certain of the value of the name 
Weldon as a guide. 

This may explain a missing passage in Hewett's 
life prior to the imprisonment of 1587. After he left 
the College at Rheims we lost sight of him, did not 
even know that he came to England of his own free 
will, till we found him a prisoner in Newgate in 1587. 
But, if John Weldon be also John Hewett, he entered 
England under the alias of Weldon or of Savell and 
became chaplain to a private gentleman. We know 
from other sources that Weldon alias Savell, described 
as a young seminary priest, was taken before March, 
1587, at the lodging of John Gardener, Esq., of Grove 
Place, County Buckingham. They had taken cham- 
bers in Gray's Inn where Gardener disguising Weldon 
as a serving-man in a black coat " kept him as his 
servant abroad and his fellow at home ". 

By this way John Hewett reached Newgate prison 
in the year 1587. 

4. " He was made priest at Paris by Authority from 
the Holy See of Rome." Aqcording to the Douay 



Diaries, " John Hewett of York " was ordained in 
1585, but where we are not told. 

5. Weldon took exception at the trial to the jury 
" as unfit men to try him being mere laymen," John 
Hewett refused to be tried by the jury " being loath 
as he told the judges that those ignorant men that 
understood not the case should be burthened with his 
blood ". 

6. Weldon was condemned in a similar way to 
Hewett, and Hartley and Sutton with him. *' The 
next day the fifth of October," all three were con- 
veyed through the City of London to Mile End, " at 
which place Weldon was executed ". There he 
denies all treason and is told that to be made priest 
in Paris and come into England is treason. 

** No, quoth he, I came not willingly into this realm. 
I was drawn in against my will, and brought in by 

This statement is corrected by " a learned and 
godly preacher there present," who says that he came 
in twice of his own free will and the first time he was 
simply banished — John Hewett also came as a deacon 
and was banished. Then he returned to England, 
the preacher goes on to say, and being taken dis- 
simulated, promising to remain Protestant, and was 
given money to defray his expenses. If this charge 
is true, that John Weldon recanted, it is another in- 
stance of a fall which had cost the seminary a pang. 
But the Relation, by Peter Penkevel, says of John 
Hewett when " he disputed openly with the preachers. 
... In this space he reproved and proved the said 
minister of many shameful lies" — a quotation which 


may affect the historical value of his past history as 
rendered by the preacher. The reported recantation 
may be a misstatement of his having agreed to the 
"bloody question," that he would " take the Queen's 
part " against a papal army, of which below. 

7. Then mention is made of the return to which 
Weldon himself had referred : ''After this thou didst 
convey thyself into Flanders, meaning (as it was 
conjectured) to kill the Earl of Leicester, which 
his honour being advertised of caused thee to be ap- 
prehended and sent into England". The preacher 
states this charge somewhat timidly, for it was, of 
course, never proved. 

In Penkevel's account Hewett " being banished 
was from the Low Countries sent again into England 
prisoner by the Earl of Leicester ". This does not 
allow the truth of the preacher's story that he was 
freed in England and went to the Low Countries 
from choice. 

It may be that Kemp, and Marsh, who it will be 
remembered left Rheims with John Hewett in 1586 
never returned to England as free men, but made 
their last journey into England with Hewett, now 
under another name, as prisoners. The Douay 
Diaries simply said that they departed, and this may 
have been to work in the Low Countries. Kemp and 
Marsh are given in lists of August, 1588, as " Priests 
who will take the Queen's Part " having been taken 
by the King of Navarre's men. Weldon also appears 
in these documents with the note "take Queen's 
part, monastically vowed, deserveth to go over". 
Which we may perhaps expand thus : " In so far 


as he will take the Queen's part against the Pope, he 
deserves to be sent back whence he came. But he 
is * monastically vowed,' and that is a further offence 
against the law of 27 Elizabeth." — We know no 
details of the order in which Hewett or Weldon had 
taken vows. 

These notes will be points from the defence offered 
by these men, — that they had not broken the law, 
they had been banished and had not returned, but 
had been brought back by force. 

This, certainly was the line of defence taken up by 
Hewett in Penkevel's account and also by Weldon in 
the preacher's account. And since that plea could 
not be answered, that they had not broken Elizabeth's 
Statute 27 — had not oifered to return when once 
banished, this may account for Weldon not suffering 
at once. 

However, this matter and the death of the Earl 
of Leicester only delayed the proceedings by little 
more than a month. John Weldon suffered in the 
beginning of October instead of the end of August, 

8. One more similarity is found in their final act 
of martyrdom — John Hewett was only hanged by 
the Queen's clemency; the preacher's account of 
John Weldon says nothing of this leniency. In an 
old list of about 1594 there is indeed found an entry 
"John Weldon Priest, quartered at Mile End," but 
there is an added note — '' John Weldon only hanged 
it is thought, but either by the malice or negligence 
of the executioner endured a long and painful death, 
insomuch that the blood burst out of his mouth, nose. 



ears and eyes : he in the meantime offering to knock 
his breast and to make the sign of the holy cross ". 
Father Henry Walpole also relates that he was only 

g. Bishop Challoner following some older lists says 
that John Hewett was executed at York on 5 Octo- 
ber, 1588, but it is certain from Penkevel that John 
Hewett was executed at " Mylane Green " in that 
year, Hartley and Sutton being drawn in the cart 
together with him. 

10. Yet there is no official record found of the exe- 
cution of Hewett either at York or London. 

According to Champney and Molanus, John Wel- 
don, "priest of the College of Douay," was executed 
on 5 October, 1588, at Mile End Green. 

The College Diaries do not betray knowledge of 
** John Weldon, priest," nor is he found in college 
lists as a banished man, which he certainly was. 
Other lists also show confusion. Some have written 
him "layman " (which he certainly was not), noting 
his absence from seminary lists and possibly confusing 
him with John Wildon, layman, who was prosecuted 
in 1577 and 1578 for having a devout wife ! Other 
lists again omit either Weldon or Hewett by way of 
solution to the difficulty. 

These reasons make it safe to conclude that John 
Hewett gave his life for his religion under the alias 
of "John Weldon," on 5 October, 1588. 

Pressed by the preachers to recant on that day he 
spoke his mind with striking simplicity : " I have 
(quoth he) done nothing but as a Roman Catholic 


priest ought to do by the direction of our most Holy 
Father the Pope, being head of the Church, who only 
hath authority over all persons and all causes ec- 
clesiastical as both by the Word of God, Councils, 
Fathers, and all antiquity it hath been and is to be 
granted ; and in this Roman Catholic religion I will 
die and willingly shed my blood ". 

A Relation of Father Henry Walpole adds a few 
details to the final scene. 

" About Michaelmas, 1589," it reads, but the date 
should now be 1588, " was Mr. Savell, or Weldon, ex- 
ecuted at Mile End Green, who always, by the way, 
desired our Saviour to aid him with grace to persevere. 
Being brought to the place of execution, Topcliffe 
said that how the Queen was merciful, * and whereas 
by his deserts he was condemned to be hanged, 
drawn and quartered, her pleasure was that he should 
be but hanged'. He said: 'the less was his merit,' 
and so he died. 

" He hanged very near a quarter of an hour before 
he died. They would suffer no man to strike him on 
the breast or pull him down. There was then in the 
cart Mr. Hartley, priest, and a layman, who desired 
him by the name of Martyr to pray for him, whereat 
the people cried out." 

In this way the story of John Hewett had been 
brought to a worthy close long before that day in the 
year 1593 when the Mayor of York fell to wondering 
"where he is remaining" and *'how and by whom 
relieved ". 

H. E. D. 


Authorities.— Peter Penkevel's Relation (1584-91), A. EM. 
A true Report of the Indictment^ etc. (London, 1588). (T. G. 
Law), Months Jan., 1879, pp. 71-85. Relation of Venerable Henry 
Walpole {is84-g5\ A.E.M. Douay Diaries. Strype. Chal- 
loner. Massacre of 1^88^ C.R.S. v. i$o-6'^. Gerard^s Catalogue 
of Martyrs, ibid. 288-93. Sander's Angl. Schism, 331 (ed. 
Lewis), Morris, Troubles^ ii. Papers and Prison Lists^ C.R.S. 
ii. and v. Foley, Records^ Series v.-viii. ix. xi. 

Note TO p. 515.— J. Venn, Biographical Hist, of Gonville 
and Caius College, Cambridge, Jj4g-i8g7 (1897), p. 106, states 
that neither John Weldon nor John Hewett's name are found on 
Caius College records. He adds the useful references, Harleian 
Miscellany, x. 380, and Lansdowne MSS. 982, 105. — Ed. 



Near the '' Theatre;' London, 5 October, 1588. 

William Hartley, according to the report of an ex- 
amination in later life, was born at Wyn in Derbyshire 
in the year 1557, though he is usually referred to as a 
Nottingham man. He was the son of humble parents. 
Little is known of the opportunities of his youth, 
but whatever they were he used them to advantage 
and matriculated at St John's College, according to 
the Oxford Register, in his eighteenth year. This was 
only the beginning of a short career at Oxford of 
which we learn something from the Recollections of 
Father Warford, who was contemporary with him at 
the University. " I knew him at Oxford," he writes, 
"at St. John's College where he acted as Chaplain, from 
which post he was removed by Toby Matthew, then 
president, because he was suspected of Catholicism." 
William Hartley was born into the world in Cath- 
olic England under a Catholic sovereign, but hardly 
one year had passed over his head before it was 
Protestant England again, and so it came about that 
William Hartley, as a good Protestant, took the 



chaplaincy of St. John's. Edmund Campion had been 
resident there a short time previously, but had joined 
the Society of Jesus two years before Hartley matri- 
culated, so they could not then have been intimately 
acquainted. Next there is observable a suspicion of 
Catholicism about him, which troubled that strange 
mixture of zeal. and selfishness, Dr. Toby Matthew, 
afterwards Archbishop of York. 

This is all very hazy, but in his next act William 
Hartley steps out into the light of day. '' Without 
demur," as his friend tells us, " he straightway betook 
himself to Rheims," and arrived there in the August 
of 1579, — the suspicion of Catholicism had developed 
into a vocation to the priesthood. Considerable 
learning, which he is believed to have possessed, was 
not the only qualification which William Hartley 
took with him to Rheims, for on 20 September, 
less than a month after his arrival, the Diaries note 
his return from Laon after receiving the Tonsure, 
Minor Orders, and Subdiaconate, in which entry he is 
described as being of the diocese of Lichfield. He 
received the Diaconate on 20 December, also at 
Laon. His ordination to the priesthood followed at 
Chalons, 24 February, 1580. 

The Diary notes that he sang his first Mass on the 
first Saturday in March at the High Altar of the Chapel 
of St. Stephen. It was not till the following summer, 
16 June, that he set out on foot, with Blessed Luke 
Kirby and Dr. Fox, a layman, bound for the English 
Mission. A somewhat vague — and where not vague, 
inaccurate — document, dated in the following year, 
tells us that " He took ship at Diepe about mid- 


summer last and landed at Hythe (hieth) as he sup- 
poseth and hath remained in Darbeshire most part of 
his time or elsewhere" (C.R.S. v. 21). 

He had about a year of freedom in England after 
landing, and for this year of his return there is every 
reason to believe that Hartley was associated with 
Persons in superintending a work most dreaded by 
the Government — the multiplication of controversial 
books by a Catholic printing press. He moreover 
circulated in Oxford copies of Campion's Decent Ra- 
tiones, which goaded worthy Dr. Toby to writing 
a vehement reply. In a letter dated 28 April, 1581, 
Father Persons writes, *' While we were together 
in a house in a wood one night Hartley said to me 
casually that he had been at Oxford," and he went 
on to report news that he had received there, which 
enabled Persons by means of knowledge which he 
had from other sources to avoid a trap set for him. 

The task that had brought William Hartley back 
to old haunts in Oxford was one of considerable 
delicacy. The little group of priests, which had 
gathered in London with Father Persons in the Oc- 
tober of 1580 to discuss their plans, had directed his 
labours in this direction. He was told off with one 
other, a certain Arthur Pitts, to work amongst the 
converts at the University, and to smooth the rough 
ways for any of the scholars who might conceive the 
idea, earlier than he himself had done, of entering a 
seminary abroad with the thought of taking orders. 
Only one who had considerable broadness of mind 
and a large sympathy, the result of personally ex- 
periencing the difficulties of that position, would be 


in any way fitted for this work. He had both. But 
it was a work that, however quietly carried on, must 
have attracted attention. 

At length Hartley was taken at Dame Stonor's 
house, Stonor Park, near Henley, with Mr. John 
Stonor and Stephen Brinkley, the printer of the 
Decern Rationes, and four journeymen printers with 
them : the whole party was lodged in the Tower on 
13 August, 1581. 

The next few years were spent in prison. His ex- 
amination is recorded, but he had shown himself 
peculiarly uncommunicative, a statement which re- 
presents a considerable amount of suffering, and, 
certainly, the document in question gives evidence of 
the fact that, in spite of the writer's ingenuity, there 
had been considerable difficulty in its composition ; 
witness the following : "... he hath remained in 
Darbeshier most part of the time or elsewhere, but 
with whom or any particular place he will not tell, 
for hurting or accusing his friends who have relieved 
him". On 23 August, 1581, he was removed to the 
Marshalsea prison, and his name appears in its lists 
for the next four years. He was somewhat active for 
a prisoner, and daily reconciled an}^ recusants who 
gained access to him, and thus caused no little an- 
noyance to Aylmer, the Bishop of London. " But 
this I find amongst them," his lordship complained 
in a letter sent to Lord Burghley, *' and especially 
in the Marshalsee, that those wretched Priests which 
by her majesties leniency live there as it were in a 
College of Caitifes, do commonly say mass within 
the prison, and intise the youth of London unto 


them, to my great grief, and as far as I can learn do 
daily reconcile them. I have been so bold to shut 
up one Hartley and to lay Irons upon him, till I hear 
from your lordship what course herein we shall take 
hereafter." In this way he spent the Christmas of 


In the beginning of February, 1584, Hartley was 
indicted with others at the Queen's Bench, West- 
minster, and found guilty of conspiracy. It is curious 
to note a strange want of accuracy in the evidence. 
He met his fellow-traitors, the indictment says, on 
20 September, 1581 — at which time, as already seen, 
according to other official documents, he was safely 
lodged a prisoner in the Marshalsea. However he 
was not alone in this, as similar facts might be stated 
of several of the other prisoners. Again, according 
to the indictment, the conspirators left Rheims in a 
body : whereas the Diaries describe the missionaries 
as setting out in twos and threes. 

Moreover, in the charge, the plans of Hartley 
and his fellows included the following items: "To 
depose the Queen and to bring her to death, to raise 
sedition and to bring about slaughter and rebellion " : 
at this point there is excuse for introducing the 
only word-portrait we have of the conspirator, Hart- 
ley. " He was," says Father Warford who knew him, 
" a man of meekest disposition and naturally virtu- 
ous, modest and grave with a sober peaceful look, a 
blackish beard, moderate height." 

In the event he was found guilty of high treason, and 
sentence of execution was passed. From the Court 
of Justice Hartley returned to prison until he finally 


came under the decree of banishment in 1585, when he 
was put on board at the Tower Wharf with a party 
of twenty on 15 January and shipped to Normandy. 
He returned to Rheims on landing and placed him- 
self at the disposal of the president, either for mis- 
sionary work or some other duties. It may be that 
he was sent on some special mission to Rome 
during this time, for Father Warford recollected 
meeting him there, as he said, '* in the year 1585 or 
1586 ". 

During this year of exile we have reason to believe 
that the Government heard of Hartley more than 
once. Robert Hethfield, a Newcastle merchant under 
examination, spoke of the exile — '' He knoweth no 
priest in England but one Hartlie, but he knowxth 
not where he may be found, for he saw him not, as he 
saith, since Xmas was a twelvemonth ". Hethfield 
faltered under torture and was afterwards confronted 
by another layman, Venerable George Errington, who 
had been captured before taking ship for France, 
carrying letters to Catholics, and having on board a 
young lad to be educated for the priesthood. At- 
tempts were made to force them to incriminate one 
another, but Errington remained staunch. Hethfield, 
less firm, told of a conversation which passed between 
them at a chance meeting on the road between Gors- 
forth and Newcastle, "but remembered no speech," 
so the report runs, " save only this that this examinate 
asked Errington for one Hartley, a seminary priest, 
and desired the said Errington to commend him to 
him when he saw him ". This is the only indication 
we ha,ve that Hartley in sonie way kept in tough 


with some Catholics of England, probably with the 
aid of Errington who carried the letters. 

Meanwhile the exile abroad had not been idle. 
** One of Hartley's achievements," writes Father 
Warford, " was to rescue from the galleys, to convert 
and thoroughly instruct Captain Cripps, who is now 
in the naval service of the King of Spain. Hartley 
had been the spiritual father of that man's mother." 
This was a genuine conversion, the name of Captain 
Cripps being not unknown in other Catholic records 
of the time. Having started life as an English sailor 
it is easy to imagine by what fortunes he came to the 
galleys ; Hartley befriended him in this very real way, 
and he joined the Spanish navy. Father Warford 
tells us that Hartley returned to England in the 
Pontificate of Sixtus V, and he offers us no nearer 
indication as to date than that. He was taken, of 
course, soon after landing. His name does not appear 
in the correspondence for the executions of 1588, but 
there is evidence to show that he was probably in- 
cluded amongst those destined to be executed for 
Middlesex. He is set down in one ancient MS., of 
about 1594, as " William Hartley, a Nottinghamshire 
man, coll. S. John in Oxford, preest, hanged at 

The fact of his trial and execution is given in a 
document entitled " A relation of the Penkevels of the 
Sufferings in England," a good authority, for Peter 
Penkevel, the writer, had himself suffered imprison- 
ment for his faith in Newgate the same year. 
Hartley was not included in the big batch of prisoners 
condemned at Bartholomewtide of the Armada Year, 


but provision was made for him. " It was determined," 
the account runs, " that within a short time after 
there should be all priests in Wisbyche and very many 
other Catholics arraigned, but the Earl of Lester dying 
the samewhile in extraordinary manner caused a 
sudden stop to these proceedings. But within two 
months after, the magistrates returning to their ac- 
customed practice, there were arraigned Mr. Huit 
and Mr. Hartley pr." 

They were condemned on the ground that, being 
seminary priests, they had returned to the country 
after banishment. No time was lost. On the very 
next morning they were dragged in the cart to 
" Mylane Green," where Hewett was executed. ** The 
aforesaid Mr. Hartley, pr," the account continues, 
" being brought forth in the same cart, was after the 
despatch of Mr. Huit carried near the Curtain and 
there hanged." The day was 5 October, as we learn 
from another story. 

Before this remove to the " Theatre," Holloway, 
Hartley had been forced to witness the hideous " des- 
patch " of his companion Hewett, by slow strangula- 
tion. *' He hanged very near a quarter of an hour 
before he died," says Father Walpole in his record. 
" They would suffer no man to strike him on the 
breast or pull him down. There was then in the 
cart Mr. Hartley, priest, and a layman, who desired 
him, by the name of Martyre, to pray for him, whereat 
the people cried out." 

One chronicler, Raissius, says that Hartley's mother 
was present at his execution, and gave thanks that 
her son had glorified God by such a death. 



By the Queen's clemency he was only hanged, and 
not quartered. 

The news reached his old college, and the chroni- 
cler made a joyful note : " D. Guilielmus Hartleius 
primo ex incarcerato exul, demum in Angliam reversus 
martirio coronatur. 1588." 

H. E. D. 

Authorities. — A True Report of the Indictment^ etc., Lon- 
don, 1588. Peter Penkevel's Relation; Father Warford's Re- 
collections^ circ. 1 599 ; Venerable Henry Walpole's Relation^ 
1589-95; all three in Pollen, Acts of the English Martyrs.^ 
Challoner. Douay Diaries. Martyrs of Armada Year^ T. G. 
Law in Months vol. xvi. (series iii.), 'JT. Morris, Troubles. 
Simpson, Edmund Campion^ 254. Foster, Alumni Oxonienses. 
Documents and Prison Lists ^ C.R.S. ii., Reprints. C.R.S. v. 
Gillow, iii. Foley, Records of Eng. Prov. Series ii.-iv., Series 
v.-viii., Series x.-xi. ; and vol. vi. p. 559, from which it appears 
that Hartley visited the English Hospice at Rome, on 1 5 April, 
1586, with Sykes and another exile, stayed for nine days, and on 
leaving received two crowns from the Pope. 



Clerkenwell, 5 October, 1588. 

It is a fact worthy of notice that the persecution of 
the year 1588 claimed as its victims an unusually 
large number of laymen. We are told that in this 
year eight laymen were condemned at one sessions 
held at Newgate, and all suffered martyrdom save one, 
who was reprieved. Religious hatred had been fanned 
by the futile invasion of the Armada, and now instead 
of having the prisons filled to overflowing by con- 
fessors for the faith, persecutions were taking place 
all over the country — the scaffolds ran with blood, 
and still the persecutors searched far and near to pro- 
vide fresh victims. That such was their intention is 
evident from the fact that in the cross-examination 
of religious prisoners the questions were so put that 
the accused were practically forced to condemn them- 

Among this number was the Venerable Robert 
Sutton who, when on the scaffold, might have saved 
himself by pronouncing but one word, which, however, 
he staunchly refused to do, preferring rather to die 
than place his soul in jeopardy. 

531 34 * 


Born at Kegworth, in Leicestershire, a village near 
Ratcliff, he was brought up in the Protestant religion 
by parents who perhaps had once been Catholic 
themselves. By them he was well educated, and 
eventually sent to one of the Universities, where he 
took his degree as Master of Arts. 

Being of a studious nature, he adopted teaching as 
his profession, a vocation which at that time was 
coming more and more into the hands of the laity, 
since the dissolution of the monasteries. 

He journeyed to London and there was appointed 
as master to a school in Paternoster Row. Such is 
the information concerning him as given by the 
Venerable Henry Walpole, S.J. What this school 
was it is difficult to discover. It is, however, quite 
possible that the school referred to is the Mercers' 
School in the Pater Noster Royalty. Flourishing at 
this time it was one of the four large schools in Lon- 
don, and in later years it numbered among its 
students many who afterwards were men of dis- 

For some time he taught there — perhaps for many 
years — when he happened to meet a certain Mr. 
Blithe^ — an old priest who seems to have been 
labouring among the people in the neighbourhood of 

1 From a list of priests and recusants committed to the Coumpter 
in Wood Street, and dated 13 June, 1586, we learn that among 
the number was a certain Oliver Heywoode, alias Blythe, an 
old priest, ordained in the reign of Henry VI 11. This is prob- 
ably the same Mr. Blythe who converted the Venerable Robert 
Sutton, and we may therefore conclude that this conversion took 
place at least some time before 13 June, 1586. 



Newgate. By him he was received into the Church, 
knowing well that such an act might cost him his 

It was not long before it pleased God to make a 
trial of his faith. The news of his conversion must 
somehow have leaked out, perhaps he was betrayed, 
or it is even possible that his scholars may have 
found it out. He was suddenly arrested and carried 
off to the Gatehouse Prison, Westminster, ^ after the 
formal examination usually made upon the arrest of 
prisoners. Here his constancy was tried by long 
imprisonment, yet it remained unshaken. 

After the defeat of the Armada, a general examina- 
tion of all religious prisoners was ordered by the 
Privy Council, which took place between 14 and 20 
August, and no doubt the Venerable Robert Sutton 
was amongst the rest. An account of his examination 
is given by the author oi An Ancient Editor s Note, 
book, and from the nature of the questions put it 
seems quite probable that the general examination 
of religious prisoners in 1588 is referred to. The 
narrative is as follows : — 

" And whereas reconciliation by express word of 
the statute is made treason, the law is so hardly 
constructed, that if any Catholic do by circumstance 
confess that at any time he hath been confessed 
to any priest, either seminary or otherwise, he is 
by and by adjudged in case of treason. So, Robert 
Sutton, Master of Art, saying that he was con- 

1 According to another account it was the Clink or the 


fessed and absolved by an old priest and by him 
brought ' in gremium Ecclesiae,' — to which he was 
drawn by the examiners saying that unless he would 
confess himself to be reconciled, all his Catholic 
brethren would cast him out of their society, — was 
arraigned, condemned etc. ..." 

The examinations ordered by the Privy Council 
were not in the nature of a trial, but rather an en- 
deavour to get the most telling evidence on which 
the Crown might prosecute. The actual trial seems in 
many cases to have been a mere mockery, as the fate 
of the accused was practically decided after the exam- 
ination. On the lists of prisoners who had been 
examined we find significant legal annotations written 
in brief, which have been interpreted as laying down 
beforehand to judge and jury both the guilt of the 
accused, and the sentence to be pronounced. (See 
Pollen, C.R.S. v. pp. 150-4.) 

Hence we may say with some probability that the 
condemnation of the Venerable Robert Sutton took 
place a few days before his death, and therefore about 
the beginning of October.^ At what sessions the holy 
martyr was condemned we do not know, but on 
5 October he was carried from prison — probably 
the Gatehouse — to the gallows at Clerkenwell. 

Arrived at the place of execution, the Sheriif seems 
to have been filled with pity for him, for he made 

^ From the Lz'sfs of Prisoners in and about London and their 
Guilty dated 30 September, 1588, we find the following entry : 
" These ipersons are by their own confession guilty of Treason or 
Fellonye . , . Robert Sutton reconciled ". 


every endeavour to persuade him to recant, if only by 
saying a single word, but all was of no avail. To the 
holy man, this must have been perhaps the hardest 
of all his trials for Christ's sake — to be obliged to reject 
the kind-hearted though mistaken assistance of one 
who was doing his utmost to save him. Fortunately 
for us, we have the actual scene described to us by an 
eyewitness — a certain Mr. Naylor, whom both Dodd 
and Challoner quote : — 

" I saw [says he] one Mr. Sutton, a layman and a 
schoolmaster, put to death at Clerkenwell in London ; 
to whom the Sheriff promised to procure his pardon, 
if he would but say the word * all ' ; for he would that 
he should acknowledge the queen to be supreme head 
in all causes without any restriction ; but he, Mr. 
Sutton, would acknowledge her to be supreme head 
in all causes temporal, but for that he would not 
pronounce the word * all * without any restriction, he 
was executed. This I heard and saw." 

By an act of clemency on the part of the Crown he 
was not bowelled and quartered. From the account 
given in An Ancient Editors Note-hooky before 
referred to, we learn that he was "executed at 
Clerkenwell, but pardoned of drawing and quartering, 
only hanged on a gibbet, set up of purpose, as a great 

Thus the holy martyr passed to his reward — a 
noble example of Christian simplicity, courage and 
constancy, and a staunch defender of the spiritual 
supremacy of the Pope. 

J. c. 


Authorities.— Penkevel's Relation, A.E.M, 283-92. Wal- 
pole's Relation^ ibid. 306-10. Catalogue of Martyrs, C.R.S. v. 12. 
Gerard's Catalogue of Martyrs^ ibid. 288. Challoner. Morris, 
Troubles, iii. 



Traditionally ascribed to Tyburn^ 5 October^ 1588. In 
reality it was John Harrison alias Syrnons^ lay- 
man, who then suffered. The priest died 20 Feb- 
ruary, 1592. 

In this section we pass from sufferers whose suffer- 
ings are known to us with some certainty and fullness* 
to the still larger number of those about whom our 
knowledge is vague and scanty ; and it is good that 
we should remember the existence of these too little 
known heroes. We must begin, however, by quoting 
the earlier martyrologists, and as we discuss their 
statements the real facts of the case will become 

After describing the martyrdom of " John Weldon " 
which took place on 5 October, 1588, Dr. Challoner 
adds this note : — 

" About this time (some say the same day) Richard 
Williams, a venerable priest, who had been ordained 
in England before the change of religion, was also, 
for religious matters, hanged at Holloway, near 

With our present documentary evidence the story 


of this martyr should be retold as follows : That there 
was a Richard Williams martyred, who was one of the 
old Marian priests, is evident enough, and, though 
not much is known of his earlier career, there are ex- 
tant several distinct accounts of his martyrdom, which 
took place, however, not on 5 October, 1588, but on 
20 February, 1592. Three of these accounts may be 
mentioned as being contemporary. That by Father 
Garnet in his report on martyrs from 1592-3 gives 
Mr. Williams under 20 February, 1592, with details 
as to certain incidents in his past life. The second 
by Father Persons gives a brief story of the martyr- 
dom two months after the event, which he had re- 
ceived from an eye-witness. It is evidently that of 
Richard Williams, though he is referred to as " Wil- 
liams" simply. The third writer is James Young, 
priest, who says, " The same year (1592) the Satur- 
day as I think after the Dom. in Albis Richard 
Williams priest in Queen Mary's time was executed ". 
He further adds that Williams " was condemned by 
Justice Anderson in the Sessions house within the Old 
Bailey, in London," then *' Hanged, drawn and quar- 
tered at Tyburn and afterwards his quarters were set 
up on the gates of the city ". 

This Richard Williams had had a chequered 
career. After Elizabeth's settlement of religion he 
had acted as a Calvinist minister for some while, and 
during that time had married. He was known by 
officials in later days to have been reconciled from 
the fact that he was found executing the office of 
priest, which he could not have done without getting 
a dispensation from the impediment " Bigamia " 


which he had incurred by an attempted marriage. 
For this dispensation he came under the later laws 
against reconciliation of 1581, and was executed on 
that charge. 

As to the mistaken date, it is suggested that 
Bishop Challoner was misled by several catalogues 
(as of Wilson, Chalcedon-More, Worthington II and 
III) which showed Richard Williams under 1588; 
where he seems to have taken the place of another 
martyr Symons, of whom more below. No explana- 
tion is as yet forthcoming of this error, which goes 
back to Father John Gerard's catalogue of 1594. 

Two of the earliest contemporary catalogues, that 
of Dr. Richard Barrett and that of Father Pedro de 
Ribadeneira, which to all practical purposes is the 
former work brought down to the date 1592, give 
among their later additions the name of Richard 
Williams under 1592, while Persons as above stated 
in his Responsio ad Edictum ElizahethcB Regince gives 
both Symons and Williams under the correct dates, 
namely 1588 and 1592, respectively. 

The Elizabethan State Papers of 1587 give certain 
details about a Marian priest named Williams, who 
may possibly be the same as our martyr, though he 
here appears as Maurice Williams. A certain Justice 
Richard Younge, reporting officially, mentions a cer- 
tain Maurice Williams whom he had committed to 
the " Clink" prison on 15 June, 1586. 

He remarks on four others prisoners and " Morris 
Williams, an old priest, prisoner in the Clink " ; and 
adds later, "These are most busy and dangerous 


persons and such as in no wise are worthy of liberty, 
neither are they within the compass of the last statute 
and if your honour (Walsingham) think so good Wis- 
bech were a convenient place for them ". 

*' Morris Williams " was not removed to Wisbech, 
possibly because " His Honour " did not *' think 
good," or more probably because he did not think 
at all, and Williams like many others was simply 
overlooked for the time being. 

He is first found in the Clink lists for August and 
September of 1586 as " Williams ". In the December, 
still in the Clink, he is recommended as ''fit for Wis- 
bich or soch like place ". However, he is described 
as a " priest " simply, and still in the Clink, on 20 
July, 1587, with nine others, including James, Flower, 
and Clarkson. Next we read, " March, 1588, . . . 
Maurice WiUiams ... in the Clink " — then there is 

Who is this Maurice Williams ? We know from 
the Douay Diaries that there was a Maurice Wil- 
liams at Rheims in 1583, who was ordained in 1585, 
and sent on the English Mission on 6 April in that 

This could not well be Mr. Young's prisoner whom 
he handed over to the Clink on 15 June, 1586. For 
he would not answer to the description of " an old 
priest," having been ordained only a year back and 
as a seminary priest would certainly have come under 
the Act of 1585. Maurice Williams of the prison 
lists is carefully excluded from those bracketted as 
seminary priests and may therefore have been our 


We have now seen that the martyred priest, who 
has been declared Venerable, really suffered in 1592, 
and that as early as 1594 he was erroneously assigned 
to 1588, where he has taken the name of a still less 
known martyr. This was John Harrison alias Symons. 
All we know about him is : i. The Douay Diaries, 
under 16 July, 1582, mention the visit of one John 
Harrison, " aged 40, not educated, came from Douay". 
This is probably our man. 2. In March, 1587, we 
read in the Prison Lists, "John Harrison, alias 
Symons, a recusant lately come over from beyond 
the seas, and hath been at Douay, Arras, Lucar, and 
the Spaw ".^ 3. In 1592 Father Persons recorded 
his martyrdom in his Responsio. 4. Peter Penkevel 
about the same time couples the martyr Sutton with 
Symons, who was " before greatly suspected and 
slandered to be a spy". He "suffered at Tyburn, 
who blessing himself, and kissing the halter, said it 
was the happiest collar that ever went about his 

We do not know how it was that John Harrison 
lost his definite place in our martyrology. One con- 
tributing cause will have been the commonness of his 
name. When there is difficulty in keeping many 
personalities distinct, those with undistinguished 
names will be the most liable to get confused. It 
would be easy to show the many possibilities of 
mistake in this case. We have to deal with many 
Harrisons, and in 1586 with another John Harrison, 
who is there connected with another Robert Sutton. 

But even if this mistake had never been made, the 

^ C.R.S. ii. 277. Symons is here erroneously printed Lynions. 


difference in regard to their eventual beatification 
would probably have been small. We can hardly 
expect that either Harrison or Williams, of whom 
so little is known, will be finally given that high 
ecclesiastical honour. But they are commemorated 
here (though so many other little known sufferers are 
passed over) because of the Roman Decree, printed 
above in the Introduction, which gives the traditional 
Martyr-List in its most authoritative form. The 
notice comes at this place, and under the name of 
Williams, for the same reason. 

In one sense it is pathetic that heroes, who suffered 
so much, should remain unknown or nearly so. But 
there is another side to the question. The glory of 
the martyrs would not be what we know it is, if our 
very limited capacities could wholly compass it. 
The example of these indistinctly known martyrs 
reminds us that, standing nigh to the few with 
whom we are now familiar, there is a multitude of 
glorious ones, quum dinumerare nemo poterit. 

H. E. D. 

Authorities.— Father Gerard's Cafal. Martyrs^ is8y-g4. 
C.R.S. V. 289-93. Persons, Responsio ad Edictum Elizabetha 
RegincB. Relation of James Younge. Douay Diaries. Relation of 
Penkevels. A.E.M. Challoner. Prison Lists, C.R.S. ii. 268, 
272, 277, 279. Foley, Records, i. Garnet's Report on Martyrs. 
C.R.S. V. 228, 233. Young to Walsingham, in Morris, Troubles, 
ii. 233. For the less known English martyrs, see the Catholic 
Encyclopcedia under that title ; also Morris, in Month, April, 



York, 31 October or 2g November, 1588. 

As this martyr was born in the County of Durham 
during the last years of the reign of Henry VIII, his 
boyhood was passed in an almost ecclesiastical 
atmosphere, for Durham in former days was a princi- 
pality, ruled by a bishop, who was supreme lord, to 
whom appeals were made, while the judges were all 
subject to him, and in his hands was the power of life 
and death. So independent was this little principality 
that it even possessed its own coins, and was com- 
monly termed not the County of Durham but the 
Bishopric of Durham. Though much of his power 
had fallen into the hands of the King, the Bishop of 
Durham was still in those days a personage whose 
influence was felt throughout the North. 

While being educated there, the martyr's natural 
quickness of intellect soon asserted itself and in due 
time he was sent to the University of Oxford, which 
he entered in 1558. In that year he became a student 
at Corpus Christi College, and at the end of three 
years he gained his B.A. together with a fellowship, 



1561. In 1566, on ig December, he received the 
degree of Master of Arts. Challoner, in his brief 
account of the martyr, makes him an alumnus of 
Trinity College, Oxford, and does not mention his 
fellowship. In this it is most probable that the bishop 
is mistaken, especially as the martyr's connexion with 
Trinity is not recorded either in the Douay Diaries 
or in the University lists. 

The question naturally arises, was the Venerable 
Edward Burden a Catholic at this time? If such 
was the case it is extremely difficult to explain how 
he could have obtained his degree of M.A. in the year 
1566. It is true that the change of religion conse- 
quent upon the accession of Elizabeth in 1558, and 
the Act of Parliament passed in the next year which 
made it criminal to maintain the supremacy of the 
Pope, were not immediately felt in the University of 
Oxford and least of all by the undergraduates. As 
Simpson in his life of Edmund Campion remarks, 
" the authorities did not want to make Oxford a desert 
by forcing too many consciences ". However the oath 
acknowledging the Queen's supremacy, in matters 
spiritual and temporal, seems to have been enforced 
at Oxford upon those who wished to take degrees, about 
the year 1564.^ Seeing that the Venerable Edward 
Burden took his degree of M.A. in 1566 it is not un- 
likely that he also took the oath of submission, in 
which case we can assume that he was not practising 
as a Catholic at this time, or at least not consistently. 

1 Blessed Edmund Campion took the oath in this year, when 
taking his degree. 


At Oxford, the Venerable Edward Burden was a 
contemporary with the Blessed Edmund Campion, 
who came to the University in 1557 and remained 
there for over twelve years. The one was a fellow at 
Corpus Christi, the other at St. John's ; and we cannot 
doubt that our martyr was acquainted with the after- 
wards famous Jesuit, who is said to have filled Oxford 
with " Campionists," young men who became his 
pupils, and were such ardent followers of their master 
that they imitated not only his phrases but his gait. 
Neither of them at this time could have imagined that, 
within thirty years, they would both have followed 
the royal road of the cross, witnessing in death to the 
faith which now they held so lightly. Did the per- 
sonality of Edmund Campion have any influence over 
our martyr? We cannot say, but Campion's de- 
parture from Oxford on religious grounds in 1569 
must have made a stir throughout the whole Uni- 
versity where he had spent so many years, and where 
his name had become famous. For us the years from 
1566-83 are a blank in the life of the Venerable 
Edward Burden, and as he had remained in the 
University up till 1566, when he received his degree 
of Master of Arts, it is quite possible that he retained 
his fellowship at Oxford for many years after. In 
1583 however we find him at Rheims studying for the 
priesthood, at which date he must have been at least 
in his fortieth year. What was the cause of this 
sudden resolution ? For all we know to the contrary, 
his conversion might have taken place a year or two 
previous to this date, and if so, it might not be diffi- 
cult to assign a cause. In the year 1581 the country 



was roused by the much-talked-of trial and execu- 
tion of Blessed Edmund Campion. No doubt the 
news made a deep impression upon the mind of our 
martyr, to whom the name and fame of Campion 
were so familiar. If he was still a Protestant at 
this time, the impression created must have been far 
deeper, especially on the mind of a man much given 
to reflection, as the Venerable Edward Burden 
certait^ly was. 

In some cases, such, for instance, as that of the 
Venerable William Hartley, the loss of fellowship or 
residence through being suspected of Catholicism 
decided the ejected scholar to become more faithful 
to his religion and sometimes led such men to join 
the ranks of missionary priests. If Burden had re- 
mained a Catholic during his career at Oxford, the 
loss of his fellowship on religious grounds might have 
turned his thoughts to the priesthood. 

The first mention of his name occurs in the Douay 
Diaries under the date 24 June, 1583, on which day 
he arrived at Rheims, from England. On the follow- 
ing 24 September, in the Cathedral at Rheims, he 
received the tonsure, minor orders, and subdiaconate. 
Being now well over forty, and withal a well-educated 
man, his course was considerably curtailed. Thus, 
in the next year, on 31 March he received the priest- 
hood. His life of study had rendered his health 
weak, and we know that within a few years he had 
developed consumption. It is quite probable that 
this had already set in when he was ordained priest, 
for instead of going on the mission at once, he re- 
mained for two more years at Rheims, his health 


perhaps preventing him from proceeding to the 
mission. During his residence at Rheims he had 
the privilege of being under the immediate authority 
of the illustrious Dr. Allen, who still lived there. 

At length on 22 May, in the year 1586, Burden was 
sent into England to work on the mission. York 
seems to have been the centre of his missionary 
labours. From a description of him given in Father 
Christopher Grene's Collectanea, we learn much of his 
personal character and something of his zeal in per- 
forming his sacred ministrations during his short 
missionary career. 

" He was a very mild man, and endowed with a 
wonderful sagacity in dealing with spiritual diseases, 
especially in confession, and gifted with an admirable 
prudence in consoling wounded souls. He used to 
journey on foot, for though slight and infirm, the 
vigour of his mind overcame his weakness. Wfien 
he went on an errand of mercy to souls, he seemed 
rather to fly than to walk." 

He seems to have worked on the mission for about 
one year when he was arrested and imprisoned at 
York, perhaps at York Castle, where many of the 
martyrs were detained. There are no official records 
published concerning the trial of the Venerable 
Edward Burden and other information is very scanty. 
In prison he had for his companion the Venerable 
Robert Dalby who was martyred at York on 16 March, 
1589. From a few words which our martyr uttered 
when Father Robert Dalby was led off for trial, we 
can gather that he must have been in prison for a 
considerable time previous to 16 March, 1588. These 



words are given by Father Christopher Grene in the 
work which we have already mentioned. He writes : 
*' When Father Dalby was led off to his trial, he 
[Venerable Edward Burden] complained saying : 
* Shall I always lie here like a beast while my brother 
hastens to his reward. Truly I am unworthy of such 
glory as to suffer for Christ.' He was then ill with 
consumption, but next day, as he lay sick on his bed, 
the gaoler came to him and called him to court. 
The summons so invigorated him that, dressing 
himself at once, he hastened thither with as much 
alacrity as if he were not ill, so that the judges found 
fault with the gaoler for having said he was sick." 

He was condemned to death for his priesthood 
and the holy martyr suffered at York ^ where he was 
hanged, drawn, and quartered some time during the 

*The date of his death is somewhat uncertain though usually 
given as 29 November, 1588. This is given both by Father 
Grene and Dr. Challoner in their different accounts. The York 
Catalogue gives 4 March, 1588, but this is extremely improb- 
able. Though Challoner used the Douay Diaries in writing his 
account, an entry is made therein to the following effect : " April 
9th, 1589. From England we receive news of that venerable 
man, Mr. Edward Burden, priest, at one time a fellow of Corpus 
Christi College, Oxford, who was crowned with martyrdom at 
York on the very vigil of All Saints, and to those saints, to 
whom the next day was sacred, he departed A.D. 1588 : and we 
the English seminarists (agentes) at Rheims rejoice exceedingly 
at what has befallen him, because he also at one time was an 
alumnus of this Pontifical seminary at Rheims ". According to 
this notice, 31 October was the date of the martyr's death, and 
this in all probability is the most correct, written as it was only 
about six months after the event. 


last two months of the year 1588, the date usually 
given being 29 November. 

Of the Venerable Edward Burden we might say 
that within so weak and frail a body burned a zeal 
for God's glory which so invigorated his soul that at 
times this vigour was imparted to the body, and a 
zeal which won for him the reputation of being a 
saintly priest during life and the title of a venerable 
martyr in death. 

J. c. 

Authorities.— Fat/ier/oAn Curry to Persofis^ A.E.M. 133. 
Grene's Collectanea E^ ibid. 327. Catalogue of Martyrs^ C.R.S. 
V. 12. Two Catalogues of York Martyrs, ibid. 191. Challoner. 
Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. Douay Diaries. Pollen, A.E.M. 
Morris, Troubles.^ iii.. Simpson, Life of Edmund Campion. 



Gloucester, 1588. 

Though there are only about five martyrs of Glou- 
cester whose names have come down to us, yet the per- 
secution in that district w^as carried out with extreme 
brutality, due probably to the bigotry of the local 

Amongst these martyrs we get the name of only one 
layman, the Venerable William Lampley, a poor hard- 
working man whose fidelity is conspicuous, because 
he was a man apparently of little education, yet with 
an almost apostolic zeal in the cause of religion. 

His birthplace is unknown, but it is quite possible 
that his native city was Gloucester itself, where in 
after life he carried on his trade of glover. He was 
so fervent a Catholic that his love for the- faith urged 
him to become a missionary among his own kith and 
kin. Poor though he was, and earning his bread per- 
haps with difficulty, his mind rose above his own toils 
and troubles, and self-forgetting, sought its happi- 
ness in satisfying the spiritual and temporal needs 
of those among whom he lived. His charity towards 
others was rewarded in one instance with the basest 



ingratitude, for the man who was most indebted to 
him, betrayed him, and was the cause of his condem- 
nation. At the trial of the martyr, he appeared as 
the only witness against him, and so devoid of all 
human feeling was he that, previous to this, he had 
caused his own wife to be imprisoned for her con- 
science' sake. 

In the account of the martyrs of Gloucester given 
by the author of An Ancient Editor s Note-book the 
trial of the martyr is recorded as follows : — 

" 1589 [sic]. At the same time [i.e. when the Vener- 
able Stephen Rowsham was executed at Gloucester^] 
was arraigned, condemned and executed a poor man 
by occupation a glover, for persuading some of his 
kin to the Catholic religion, one only being witness 
against him that had before imprisoned his own wife 
for her conscience, and so indebted, as not daring to 
show his face but that he was only for that time and 
purpose protected by Judge Manwood, who after he 
had condemned him, seemed unwilling that he should 
die and therefore made him that offer, that if he would 
but say he would go to Church, he should have his 

The holy man refused all compromises, and seeing 
that his entreaties were of no avail, the judge used 
every possible means, the persuasions of his kindred 
and friends and, eventually, on the day appointed 
for the execution, caused the " passing bell " to toll, 
thinking that the sound of it would terrify him. The 
narrative is as follows: — 

'* Besides he appointed his friends and kindred the 

1 Venerable Stephen Rowsham suffered in 1587. 


officers and preachers, to persuade with him but to 
promise so much, which when they could not obtain 
of him, when he was ready to go to execution, they 
caused the passing bell to go for him, thinking that 
with terror thereof he would be moved to grant so 
much. Again and again at the place of execution 
they made the same offer but all in vain ; with fervent 
constancy he most willingly yielded himself to these 
their torments, and therefore they ended him as 
butcherly and bloodily as ever they did any." 

Though the name of the holy martyr is not men- 
tioned in this narrative, there can be little doubt that 
the martyrdom here described is that of the Vener- 
able William Lampley, because he is the only layman 
martyred at Gloucester, of whom we have notice. 
According to Dodd, he was condemned to death for 
relieving a priest. From what we know of the martyr 
this, in all probability, is part of the charge on which 
he was condemned. 

Thus died the poor glover, whose exceeding charity 
and singleness of purpose won for him a crown of 
imperishable glory. 

J. c. 

Authorities. — Challoner. Dodd's Church History, Gil- 
low's Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath. Foley's Records^ series v.-viii., 
ix., X., xi. Morris, Troubles. Oliver's Collections. CR.S. v. 
Catalogue of Martyrs, 


Acton, Cheshire, 387. 
Acton, see Holford, Thomas. 
Acworth, George, 92, 146, 226, 

227, 228. 
Adams, Ven. John, M., 229-233, 

Aden, Adyn, Robert, 229 ; Roger, 

Adyn, see Aden. 
Agazario, Alfonso, S.J., 37,38,94. 

147, 225, 281, 409. 
Alcanning, Wilts, 421. 

Alfield (Aufield), Robert, school- 
master, 145, 151, 159; 
Robert, apostate, 146, 353, 
150, 151. 

— Ven. Thomas, M., 145-163, 

353, 356. 
Alford, Francis, 355. 

— Mistress, 355. 
Alicante, Spain, 304. 

Allen, Aleyn, William Cardinal, 
II, 30, 38, 94. 106, 147, 

148, 149, 150, 152, 153, 156, 
157, 158, 163, 172, 173, 281, 
284, 292, 293, 302, 377, 401, 
408, 409, 413, 448, 465, 473, 
547 ; Elizabeth, 38 ; family, 

Alps, the Brenner pass, 38 ; the 

Spliigen pass, 38; the St. 

Gothard pass, 38. 
Amias, Amyas, Ven. John, M., 

218, 274, 456. 
Amiens, 9. 
Anchin College, 224 ; Abbey of, 

near Douay, 224. 
Ancona, 38. 
Anderson, Sir Edmund, 205, 206, 

208 ; Lord Chief Justice, 27, 
30, 155, 538. 
Anderton, Alice, 202. 

— Hugh, 202. 

— Ven. Robert, M., 202-10. 

— Robert of Lancashire, 202, 

Andover, near Winchester, 8, 12, 


Anglesea, 426. 

Angram Grange, near Appleton, 

Angus, Earl of, see Douglas. 
Antwerp, 23, 33, 319. 
Apharry, see Parry. 
Arden, Edward, 137. 
Argyll, Earl of, 316. 
Armada, the, 357, 358, 403, 405, 

502, 531. 
Armagh, Abp. of, see Creagh, 

Arras, 35, 541. 

Arrowsmith, Ven. Edmund, S.J., 
M., 416. 

— Thurstan, 117, n8. 
Arundell, Sir John, 200, 201. 
Ashborne, 432. 

Ashley, Ven. Ralph, M., 410-11. 

Aske, John, 224. 

Aspenwall, Hugh, 292. 

Aston, Sir William, Sheriff, 305. 

Aston, Cheshire, 387. 

Atherton, Christopher, 491, 492. 

Atkins, John, 175. 

Atkyns, Richard, Attorney-General, 

Attorney, Mr., 295. 
Aufield, see Alfield. 
Aughton, 77. 




Awkmonton, 432. 
Aylesse, William, 480. 
Aylmer, Bp. of London, 24, 27, 30, 
412, 525. 

B. R. (? Barnes, Robert), 3. 
Babington, Anthony, 389 ; his 

plot, 243, 246, 389, 390, 501. 
Babington, 77. 
Babthorpe, Sir Ralph, 166 ; Grace, 

Lady, 166, 167, 169. 
Baffin Land, 148. 
Baggrave, Leicester, 316. 
Bagshaw, Christopher, 152 ; of 

Oxford, 266; MSS. of, 342, 

347> 349 ; Robert, O.S.B., 

Bailiff, Mr., 305. 
Baldwin, Nicholas, 291. 
Ballard, John, 146. 
Bancroft, Bp. of London, 247. 
Bar, Francois de, " Grand 

Prieur" of Anchin Abbai, 

224, 228. 
Barber, Edward, als. of Stran- 

sham, Ven. Edward, M. 
Barneby, near Howden, York- 
shire, 217. 
Barns, D., 281. 
Barnes, false bishop, 167 ; John, 

167 ; Mr., 246, 389 ; Robert, 


Barnett, William, weaver, 294. 

Barnwell, Robert, 389. 

Baron, John, 230. 

Barrett, Richard, Vice-President 
of Rheims English College, 
14, 106, 225, 292, 441, 459, 

Barton-on-the-Hill, Cheshire, 473, 

Battle, Sussex, 265, 481. 

Basset of Blare, Sheriff, 339. 

Bath Road, 406. 

Bavin, Mr., 388. 

Bawtry, Yorks, 372. 

Bayley, Baylye, Thomas, Vice- 
President of Douay College, 
106, 377, 379, 381, 474. 

Beaminster, Bemester, Dorset- 
shire, 294, 432. 

Beaumont, Joan, 259, 264. 

— of Mirfield, 264. 
Bedford, Earl of, 175, 317. 

Bell, Ven, James, M., 107-113,120, 
124, 125 ; James, prebendary 
of Wells, 107 ; Thomas, 224. 

Bellamy, Richard, 389, 394, 395 ; 
daughter of, 394 ; wife of, 
394 ; Robert, 2ji, 389. 

Bellarmine, Robert, S.J., Cardinal, 

Belleforest, de, Francois, 24, 33. 
Bemester, see Beaminster. 
Bennet, Dr., 6, 7. 

— John, 134, 491, 492. 

— Master, 19. 

— Thomas, 480. 

— William, 418. 
Bentley, 64. 

Berden, Nicholas, spy, 179, 363, 

Bergamo, Bp. of, see Ragazzoni. 

Berkeley, Gilbert, formerly Aug. 
Canon Regular, now Bp. of 
Wells, 55. 

Berkeley parish, Gloucestershire, 

Bermondsey Abbey, Surrey, 400. 

Bernard, Giles, 6r. 

Berwick-on-Tweed, 211. 

Beston, Derby, 480, 490. 

Betsworth, Thomas, 482. ' 

Bettesworth, Richard, 480. 

Bewdley, 134. 

Beyebeye, John, jailer, 510, 511. 

Bickerdyke, Bickerdike, Anne, 
251 ; Edward of Farnham, 
251 ; Edward, gentleman, 
251 ; Edward, tailor, 251 ; 
Elizabeth, 251 ; Jane, 251 ; 
Ven. Robert, M., 251-8; 
of Farnham, 251 ; of West 
Riding, Yorkshire, 252. 

Bilson, Thomas, Warden of Win- 
chester College, 9, 13. 

Birkett, George, 11. 

Birkhead, Queen's Attorney, 255, 

Birnand, Grace, 166. 

— William, Recorder of York, 




Bishop, William, Bp. of Chalce- 

don, 38, 62, 66, 67. 
Bishopfields, 213. 
Blackburn, als. o/Ven. Thompson, 

Blackburn, Lanes., 76, 200. 
Blackman, John, 480. 
Blackstone, Henry, 488. 
Blare, 339. 

Blewett, Nicholas, 294. 
Blount, Mrs., 402. 

— Richard, S.J., 175. 

Blythe (Blithe), als. of Heywoode, 

Bodmin, Cornwall, 290. 
Body, Gilbert, 10, 14. 

— Bodye, Bodie, Ven. John, M., 


— Mother of John, 20. 

— Marie, 10. 
Boleyn, Anne, 311. 
Bologna, 376, 462. 

Bond, Sir George, Lord Mayor of 
London, 358, 364, 369, 382, 
386, 396. 

Bonner, John, 482. 

Bononia, 376. 

Books (mentioned in the story) : 
Allen (Purgatory), 11 ; De- 
fence of English Catholics, 
149, 154, 156-7. Belle- 
forest, Innocence de Marie 
(VEcosse, 24, 33. Burghley, 
Execution of justice, 149. 
Campion, Decent Rationes, 
524, 525 ; Disputations, 26. 
Capello, Liber Sacerdotalis, 
239 ; Catechism of Trent, 
374 ; Executions of S lade and 
Bodey, 2. Garnet, Renuncia- 
tion, 174. Harpsfield, Dia- 
logi Sex, 23 ; Historia An- 
glicana, 23 ; Treatise of the 
Divorce, 26. Harsnett, Popish 
Impostures, 247 ; Leicester's 
Commonwealth, 417, 419. 
Martin, Treatise of Schisme, 
II, 24-33 ; Meditations on 
Life of Christ, 81. Paunce- 
foot. Firm Foundation, 147. 
Persons, Why Catholics re- 

fuse to go to Church, 32, 291 
Primers, 81. Reynold, Re 
fetation of Sundry Reprehen 
sions, 150. Rituale, 239, 466 
Smith, Sacrifice of the Mass 
II ; Testament, 81, 97. Val- 
lenger, Tract, 26. Vaux, 
Catechism, 81 ; Weldon, Trial 
of, etc., 514. 

Booltflower, Ralph, 80. 

Boste, Ven. John, M., 252. 

Boulogne, Bulloigne, 230, 232, 

Bours, Mgr. Jean de, 173. 
Bower, Alice, 162; John, 162. 
Bowes, Christopher, 167. 
— Ven. Marmaduke, M., 166- 
70, 258 ; his children, 167 ; 
his wife, 167, 168; Mary, 
167 ; Richard, 321 ; William, 
Bowlande, James, 375-82. 
Bowyer, Thomas, 478, 479, 480, 

481, 484, 485, 496. 
Brackenbury, Leonard, attorney, 

167, 168. 
Bradley, Mr., 490, 496. 
Bramston, 474, 476, 493. 
Branthwayt, Richard, 483. 
Branton, Stephen, 510. 
Brentford, 399, 406, 449. 
Brereton, Owen, 136, 142. 
Briant, Blessed Alexander, M., 

14, 265. 
Bridgenorth, 134. 
Bridgewater, John, S.J., 459. 
Bridgewater, '' Three Crowns 

Inn," 294. 
Brimpton, 61. 
Brimpton House, 61. 
Brinkley, Stephen, 525. 
Bristol, 72, 176. 
Bromley, Francis, 136. 

— Sir George, 131, 132, 135, 

136, 137. 138, 143- 

— Sir Thomas, 138. 

Browne, ? Francis, Lord Mon- 
tague, 186. 

— Henry, 172. 

— Mrs., 296. 

— Thomas, 292. 



Brooke, a merchant, 252. 

Brough, Yorks, 79. 

Brunell, Gratian, 8. 

Brussels, 215, 343. 

Buckhurst, Lord, Master of the 
Rolls, 155. 479, 482. 

Buckley, als. 0/ Jones, John, 

Bude, als. of Hoi ford, Thomas. 

Bulbrooke, William, 80, 83. 

Bull, "The hangman of New- 
gate," 17, 18. 

Bullock, George, master of St. 
John's, Cambridge, 127. 

Burden, Ven. Edward, M., 543- 

Burgh, John, 118. 
Burghley, Lord, 67, 149, 355, 357, 

382, 405, 414, 477, 525 ; spies 

of, 474. 
Burnley, Lanes., 76. 
Burton, haberdasher, 186. 
Burton-on-Trent, 301. 
" Bush Corner," Brentford, 406. 
Bustard, John, 8. 
Butler, Alban, 256. 
— Samuel, 172. 
Buxton, Ven. Christopher, M., 

335, 375, 447, 449, 45°, 458, 

460-8, 469, 472. 
Buxton, 460. 
Byforest, als. of Filby, John. 

Cadner, Mr., 410. 
Caesar, Mr., 266. 
Calais, Calice, 231, 319, 491. 
Calice, see Calais. 
Calveley, Sir George, 392. 
Calverly, Edmund, priest and con- 
fessor, 408, 491, 492. 
Cambray, 172, 224, 303. 
Cambridge, 174, 217, 430. 
Cambridge Colleges: — 
Caius, 509, 515, 521. 
Christ's, 473. 
King's, 145, 159, 160. 
King's Hall, 159. 
St. John's, 77, 127. 
Campion, B. Edmund, M,, S.J., 
61, 62, 137, 161, 183, 362, 
451, 458, 466, 469, 473, 523, 

Campion, Campian, Ven. Edward, 
M., vere Edwards, 449, 450, 
451-9, 466, 467. 
" Campionists," 545. 
Canterbury, 171, 172, 447, 449, 
450, 451, 456, 458, 460, 466, 
469, 471. 
Archdeacon of, see Harpsfield, 

Oaten Hill, 458, 471. 
St. Stephen's, 456. 
Carey, Sir George, Knight Marshal, 

67, 73, 87, loi, 209. 
Carter, Agnes, 26. 

— Jane, 26, 27. 

— John, 22. 

— Ven. William, M., 22-33. 
Castle Goring, 416. 

Cave, Francis, Justice, 318. 
Cawood, John, the Elder, printer, 

Cecil, Edmund, 176. 

— John, 176. 

— Sir Robert, 151 ; William, 

Lord Burghley, Treasurer, 

Chadderton, William, Bp. of 

Chester, 390, 391. 
Chaddock, William, 456. 
Chalcedon, Bp. of, see Bishop 


— see Smith, Richard. 
Challoner, Bp., 73-7. 
Chalons-sur-Marne, 60, 146, 185, 

217, 230, 523. 
Chalons-sur-Marne, Bp. of, see de 

Champney, Dr., 501. 
Chapman, John, 92. 

— John, 230. 

Chard, Somersetshire, 294. 
Cheeke, Henry, 164, 213. 
Chester (Westchester), 77, 131, 
184, 390, 391, 447. 

— Bp. of, 119, 121, see Chadder- 


— Castle, 393. 

— Dean of, see Nutter, John. 
Chester diocese, 220. 
Chichester, Sussex, 473, 478, 479, 

481, 488, 495, 504; Bp. of, 



485, 486 ; Broyle Heath, 487 ; 
Haven, 360, 361, 362, 363 ; 
Mayor of, 361. 

Chinckes, see Jenks. 

Chipping, 202. 

Chirk, 134. 

Cholmondley, Sir Hugh, 391. 

Christopherson, crier of the court, 

Clapham parish, Yorks, 169. 

Ciarck, John, 480. 

Clarke, Robert, Minister of "Wrex- 
ham, 133. 

— WiUiam, 430. 

Clarkson, Ven. James, M., see 

Claxton, Clackston, Clarkson or 

Clarkeson, Ven. James, M,, 

399-407, 449, 540. 
Cleveland, 167. 
Cleveland, Archdeacon of, see 

Cleyton, James, 293. 
Clinch, Henry, priest, 218. 

— Judge, 194, 195, 196, 255. 
Clitherow, Anne, 197, 199. 

— Henry, 199. 

— John, 189, 190, 194-6. 

— Ven. Margaret, M., 157, 188- 

199, 215, 260. 

— Thomas, 189. 

— William, 189, 199. 
Cloudesley, Peter, 152. 
Coke, Francis, 3. 

Cola, Giovanni, Provincial, S.J., 

Colchester, 231. 
Cole, Edward, 176. 
Colleton, Alice, 60 ; Edmund, 60. 

— John, 59, 61. 
Collington, John, 337. 
Coltley, Manor of, Dorset, 92. 
Coltley, Maxton, Dorsetshire, 

Columb, John, S.J., or Cullam, 

Co'.umbell, Magistrate, 339. 
Columbine, Father, see Columb or 

Cullam, S.J. 
Como, Cardinal of, see Galli. 
Compton, Anthony, 305. 

Compton Pauncefoot, 61. 
Congleton, Cheshire, 432. 
Convent dowry, 243. 
Conyers, James, 167 ; Mary, 167. 

— Samuel, 65, 78, 80, 83, 87, 100. 
Cooke, John, 332. 

— Richard, 482. 

Copleston, Margaret, 71 ; Thomas, 


Coppinges-court, probably Cock- 
ing, Sussex, 178. 

Cornehus, Ven. John, M., S.J., 
225, 240, 241, 244, 271, 293. 

Cornwall, 443. 

Corscombe, Dorset, 294, 432. 

Coryat, George, als. of Ven. John 
Mundyn, M., 95. 

Cottam, B. Thomas, 234. 

Cottam Hall, Preston, Lanes., 
34, 36, 50. 

Cotton, Francis, 2, 4. 

Coughton, 185. 

Coventry, Bp. of, see Overton. 

Covert, Walter, Justice, 480,487-8. 

Cowling, William, 173. 

Cowper, Thomas, Bp. of Win- 
chester, 17, 205. 

Craddocke, Francis, 368. 

Cranford, 159. 

Creagh, Richard, Archbishop of 
Armagh, 45, 46. 

Cremona, Bp. of, see Speciani. 

Crewkerne, Somerset, 295. 

Cripps, Captain, 528. 

Crockett, Ven. Ralph, M., 449, 

4:32, 473-89, 493, 495, 496. 
Croft, Sir James, 138. 
Cromwell, Thomas, 333, 364. 
Crow, Ven. Alexander, M., 261, 

Crowther, Thomas, 62. 
Coytmor, jailer and hangman, 133, 

141, 142. 

Dacre, Anne, Lady, 453. 

— Lord, see Fiennes. 

Dalbv, Ven. Robert, M., 547, 

Dalton, James, 483. 
Daniell, a shipowner, 474, 493. 

— William, 483. 



Darbishire, Fr., S.J., 463-5. 
Dasset, Mr., 317; his sons, 317. 
David, Howell, 137. 
Davis, Sir John, 148, 151. 

— Richard, als. of Foster, als. 

o/Wingfield, 183. 

— Richard of Llandafif, 104. 
Davis Straits, 148. 

Davis, Relation by, 387-90, 393, 

395, 396, 397. 
Dean, Mrs., 351, 352, 353. 
Deane, Mercy, 11. 

— William, 66, 67, 419. 

— Ven. William, M., 146, 351-9, 

362, 364, 365. 
Delaware, Lord, 4. 
*' Demonite," name given to 

GarHck, Ven. N., M., 338. 
Denbigh, 132, 452. 

— Castle, 144. 

Denham, Bucks, 236, 237, 238-41, 
242, 243, 244, 246, 247, 250. 

Derby, 330, 340, 341, 344, 466, 
490 ; jail, 342, 344 ; old 
bridge, 349. 

Derby, Earl of, 115, 116, 117, 390. 

Devereux, als. of Wheeler, Ven. 
Nicholas, M. 

Deyos, William, keeper of New- 
gate, 356. 

Dibdale, Debdall, Agnes, 235. 

— Joan, 235. 

— Richard, 234, 235. 

— Ven. Robert, M., 225, 226,. 

228, 234-50. 
Dickinson, Mr., 502. 
Dieppe, 175, 178, 292, 464, 474, 


Dinting, Derbyshire, 330, 331. 

Dodd, historian, 501. 

Dodwell, Thomas, Spy, 65, 267- 
272, 426. 

Dolman, Marmaduke, 264 ; Ur- 
sula, 264. 

Dorchester, 93, 229, 268, 271. 

— jail, 271. 

Dorster, Dorsetshire, 229. 
Douay, 14, 35, 59, ii5, 184, 185, 

203, 256, 302, 304, 305, 310, 
53» 367. 439, 448, 489. 49I: 

499, 506, 541- 

Douay, English College at, 8, 9, 35, 
36, 93, 145, 146, 172, 176, 
223,224,342,343, 344,404, 
408, 474. 

— University, 2, 35. 
Douglas, Archibald, " Parson of 

Glasgow," 316, 

— Earl of Angus, 316. 

— Ven. George, M., 313-22. 

— John, ex-Carmelite and 

Archbp. of St. Andrews, 
316, 322. 

— Mgr. Valentine, O.S.B., Bp. 

of Laon, 78, 443. 

— of Bongedward, Bonjed- 

burgh, 316. 
Dover, 93, 172, 235, 319, 320, 491. 

— Mayor of, 319. 
Downham, William, Bp. of 

Chester, 128. 
Driffield (South Duffield), 324. 
Drimpton, Dorset, 105. 
Dryland, Fr., 243. 
Duffield, South, or Golden in 

Yorkshire, 323. 
Duke (or Douche), Ven. Edmund, 

M., 105. 
Dunkirk, 319. 
Dunwich, 79, 80, 84. 

— Baihffs of, 80. 
Duppa, John, 482. 
Durham, 11, 164, 502, 506. 

— Bishopric of, 543. 

E. G., i.e. Elliot, George, in- 
former, 432. 

Earswick, 264. 

Earth, als. of Leigh, Ven. Rich- 

East, Thomas, 482. 

East Riding of Yorkshire, 217. 

East Smithtield, 419, 420. 

Eccleston, Lanes, 114. 

Eden, Paul, 421 ; Joan, 421. 

Edinburgh, 316, 317; Grey Friars 
of, 317- 

Edmonds, Mr., als. of Weston, 
William, S.J. 

Edwardes, Francis of Wrexham, 
yielded in terror on scffaold, 



Edwards, David, 129, 131, 133, 
140, 142, 143. 

— family, 452. 

— Francis, 452. 

— a/5. o/Gwyn Francis, M. 

— John of Chirk, 134. 

— Mrs., 142, see Campion, 


Elie, see Ely. 

Elizabeth, Queen, 373 ; policy 
of her government of, 458, 
495. See also Analytical In- 
dex, §§ 14, 15. 

Ellerbeck, Ellerbert, Osmotherley, 
167, 168. 

Ellerbert, see Ellerbeck. 

Ellis {? Price, LL.D.), 136. 

Ellison, Eleanor, 323. 

Elton, William, S.J., 335. 

Ely (Elie), Dr. Humphry, 14, 71, 
273, 287, 298, 323. 

Emerford, see Hemerford. 

Emmerson, Ralph, 162, 418. 

England, Cardinal Protector of, 
see Moroni. 

Englefield, Sir Francis, Privy 
Councillor, 16. 

Erbistock, 129. 

Erles, Edward, 136. 

Errington, Ven. George, M., 527, 

Essex, Earl of, 185. 

Estcourt, Giles, 296. 

Etherow river, 334. 

Eton College, 145, 159, 160. 

Eu, Normandy, 290, 464. 

Eudaemon-johannis, Fr., S.J., 459, 

Euxton Hall, Lanes, 202. 

Evans, Richard, 404. 

— Thomas, 135. 

— Thomas Goldsmith, 146. 
Evers (Ewers), Lord, 164. 
Ewers, see Evers. 
Executions, how arranged, xxviii, 

478; see also Analytical In- 
dex, § 15. 

Exeter, 443. 

Exorcism, 236 ; cures by, 237-43 5 
described, 239 ; movement 
crushed, 244-6. 

Exorcists, upheld, 240 ; in danger, 
240 ; accused by those exor- 
cised, 245. 

Eylam, 334. 

Eyre, Jane, 346 ; Thomas, 346. 

Fairfax, Sir Thomas, 213. 

Farnam, see Farnham. 

Farnborough, 178. 

Farneden, Robert, 480. ' 

Farnham, Farnam, Robert, 105. 

Faversham, Kent, 114, 171. 

Farway, Devon, 203. 

Fawcet, Sheriff, 198. 

Felton, Ven. Thomas, Ord. Min., 
M., 399-407; Frances, 400, 
402 ; B. John, M., 18, 137, 
400 ; Miss, 399. 

Fen, R., 232. 

Fenn, Frances, 55, 68. 

— Giles, 56. 

— Ven. James, M., 46-52, 70, 74. 

— James, wife of, 56. 

— John, brother of James, 52, 


— John, son of James, 55. 

— Robert, 52, 55, 58, 59, 68, 70. 
Ferimsby, 251. 

Fernsby, Yorks, 498. 

Fferres, Mr., 178 ; Mrs., 178, 

Ffrogmorton (Throckmorton), 

Lady, 355. 
Ffytton, Will, 183. 
Field, Richard, 414. 
Fiennes, Gregory, tenth Lord 

Dacre of the South, 453, 

Filbie, John, als. Bylorest, 491, 

see Fylbye. 
Filmer, 237. 
Fimes, 172. 
Finch family, 50. 
Finch, Ven. John, M., no, 114- 


— Ralph, 115. 

— Richard, 114. 
Finglie, see Finglow. 

Finglow (or Finglie), Ven. John, 

M., 217-9. 
Fisher, John, justice, 4. 



Fisher, Ralph, 256, 258. 
Fitzherbert, Jane, 346. 

— John of Padley, 339, 340, 

345, 346- 

— Thomas, 179. 

— Thomas of Padley, 339. 
Fitzherberts of Padley Hail, 338. 
Flanders, 39, 318, 355, 380. 
Fleming, Thomas, 11. 
Flemish boy, a, 194, 195. 
Fleetwood family, 44. 

— Sir William, Recorder of 

London, 27-30, 44, 155, 
159, 160, 355. 
Fletcher, John, 317. 

— J. M. J., 332. 

— Peter, 375, 379, 382. 

— 274. 

— see Tedder, Thomas. 
FHnt jail, 134. 

Flower, vere Lloyd (a/5, of Floyd, 
Flud, Graye), Ven. Richard, 
M., 423, 425-9. 

— William, als. of Way, see 

Way, William. 
Flud, als. of Flower, Ven. Richard, 

Flushing, 319. 
Foley, Brother, S.J., 73. 
Folke, Dorset, 71. 
Ford, B. Thomas, M., 61, 281. 
Fortescue, vere Ballard, 291, 

Fortescue, Mr., 496. 
Foster, Isabel, 262, 264 ; William, 

262, 264. 
Foster, als. of Davis, Richard. 

— als. of Pilchard. 
Fowler, John, 32, 33. 
Fox, 523. 

Foxe, John, 23. 
Foxwell, Henry, 420. 
Frankish, Frankize, Nicholas, 176. 
Frankize, see Frankish. 
Freeman, Thomas, 218. 

— WilHam, 182. 

Fulford, Mr., 294, 295 ; Sir John, 

Fuller, Nicholas, 483. 
Fylbv, B. William, 490-1, see 


Gage, Edward, 64. 

Galli, Ptolomeo, Cardinal of Como, 

and Papal Secretary of State, 

Gallop, Giles, 8. 
Gardener, John, 515. 
Garlick, Mr., Forester of the High 

Peak, 330, 331, 332; Mrs., 


— Ven. Nicholas, M., 330-350, 

460, 461. 
Garm, James, 132. 
Garnet, Cecily, 324 ; child of, 324. 

— Father Henry, S.J., and M.. 


— Ven. Thomas, S.J., M., 417. 
Garth, als. 0/ Leigh, Ven. Richard. 
Gasquet, Abbot, 311. 

George, Sir William, Kt., 41. 
Geninges, Ven. Edmund (or Ed- 
ward), M., 447. 
Gent, Baron, 297. 
Gerard, Dorothy, 238. 

— John, S.J., 238, 302, 304, 

306-12, 375, 401, 403, 445, 
502 ; Gilbert, 292. 

Gibbons, John, SJ., 71, 377. 

Giblet, W., 232. 

Gilbert, George, 147, 179. 

Gisburne, in Cleveland, Prior of, 
see Pursglove. 

Glasgow, "The Parson of," 316. 

Glaston in Rutland, 318, 319, 320. 

Glaston, 364. 

Glastonljury, Abbot of, see Whit- 

Glisson, Isaac [i.e. Israel], 72. 

Gloucester, 145-8, 150, 161, 162, 
220, 221, 279, 361, 362, 550, 
55i> 552; Brockworth, 161; 
diocese of, 229; Hall, 173; 
Jail, 285. 

Godeson, Mr., 292. 

Godsalf, 284. 

Godstow, Oxford, 175. 

Goldwell, Thomas, exiled Bp. of 
St. Asaph, 72, 73, 225, 491. 

Good, Mr., a lawyer, 294. 

Goodman, Gabriel, Dean of West- 
minster, 130. 

Goring, George, 480; Henry, 480. 



Gorsford, or Gosforth, Newcastle- 

on-Tyne, 527. 
Goss, Bp., 50. 
Gower, 224. 

Grantham, Lincolns, 384. 
Gravelines, 319. 
Gray, Robert, priest, 375, 377, 379, 

Graye, als. of Flower, Ven. 

Richard, M. 
Great Boughton, Cheshire, 391. 
Greene, Mr., 410. 
Greenland, 148. 
Greenwich, 456. 
Gregory XIII, Pope, 38, 73, 225, 

461, 491. 
Gregson, Elizabeth, 35. 

— John, 35. 
Grene, Edward, 480. 

— George, 480. 

— Thomas, 482. 
Grenway, William, carrier, 235. 
Gresford, Dentryshire, 128. 
Grey, Lord, 96. 
Grimthorpe, Yorkshire, 259. 
Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury , 

Gronow, Lewis, 133, 136, 137, 

139, X43. 

Grove Place, Bucks, 575. 

Guildford, 311. 

Guise, de, Louis, Cardinal Arch- 
bishop of Rheims, 173, 200, 
203, 220, 292, 378, 379, 401, 

447. 461, 474- 

Gunter, Ven. William, M., 366-71. 

Gunwyn, Thomas, 480. 

Gwyn, Catherine, 128 ; children, 
six, 128 ; Francis, a/5, of 
Edwards, als. of White, 478, 
479, 481, 485, 486, 488, 497 ; 
Ven. Richard, M., als, of 
White, 127-44. 

Habington, Edward, 174. 

Hackney, 243. 

Haile, Hale, Hall, B. John, 159. 

Hale, see Haile. 

Haler, Richard, 482. 

Hall, Anthony, 231. 

Hall, see Haile. 


Halliwell, 528. 

Hambden, Mr., 299. 

Hambley, Ven. John, M., als. 

Tregwethan or Trevethan, 14, 

Hammon, William, 95. 
Hammond, John, Chancellor of 

Diocese of London, and M.P. 

for Rye, 207. 
Hamonde, 146. 

Hampshire, sheriff of, 209 ; under- 
sheriff, 209. 
Hansby, Agnes, 259,264; Richard, 

Hanse, B.John, M., 218. 
Harbert, Sir Edward, 389. 
Harding, 316, 320, 321. 
Hargraves, Mr., 274. 
Harpsfield, Nicholas, Archdeacon 

of Canterbury, 22, 23, 32, 33. 
Harrington, Ven. William, M., 

Harrison, Ven. James, M., 427. 

— John, als. of Symons, M., 337, 

430. 537, 538, 54i» 542. 

— Martin, 168. 
Harrow-on-the-Hill, 201, 389 ; 

Uxenden Manor, near, 389, 

Harsnet, Samuel, later Archbishop 

of York, 237, 242, 247, 249. 
Hart, Fr. John, 37, 284. 
Hartley, Ven. William, M., 65, 66, 

67, 356, 513. 516, 520, 522- 

530, 546- 
HasfieM, near Gloucester, 147, 148, 

Hathersage, 338, 340 ; Catholic 

Church, 350. 
Hatton, Richard, no, 120, 124. 
Havre, 78. 
Hawkinson, Elizabeth, 39. 

— spy, 39. 
Haydock, Aloysia, 35. 

— Bridget, 34. 

— Evan, 34, 35, 36. 

— Ven. George, M., 34-51, 66, 

67, 74, 75. 

— Helen, 34. 

— • Richard, 35, 36, 37. 
William, 34. 



Haj^on, 263, 264. 
Hayward, Sir Rowland, 155. 
Haywood (Heywood), Jasper, S.J., 

175, 336, 337- 
Heath, Thomas, 427, 433. 
Hemerford, Henry, 71. 

— Margaret, 71. 

— Robert, 71. 

— Ven. Thomas, M., 67, 68, 


— William, Minister of Folke, 

Hene, a minister, 69. 
Henry VHI, 372. 
Hereford, Viscount, 185. 
Hereford, 388. 
Hesketh, Mrs., 38. 

— William, 38, 40, 50. 
Hethfield, Robert, 527. 
Hewett, Huit, Ven. John, M., als. 

Weldon, als. Savell, 508-21, 
529, 537- 

— William, draper, 509. 
Hewitt, see Hewett. 
Heywoode, Oliver, a/5. Blythe, 

Blithe, 532. 
Hide, see Hyde. 
Hieth, see Hythe. 
Higgins, Isaac, 38, 
High Peak, Hundred of the, 339, 

Higham, Anne, 201. 

— William, 201. 
Hindlip, 174. 
Hobson, Richard, 482. 
Hodgeson, Henry, 480. 
Hodgkins, pursuivant, 395. 
Hodgson, Christopher, 225. 
Hoghton, Elizabeth, Lady, 35. 

— Helen, 34. 

— Sir Richard, 35. 

— Thomas, 35. 
Hogsdon, see Hoxton. 
Holford, Ven. Thomas, M., als. 

Acton, or Bude, 183, 221, 

Holland, Rev. Henry, 73, 232. 

Holm Lacy, Herefordshire, 388. 

Holt, William, Rector of the Eng- 
lish College, Rome, 376, 377, 
380-1, 463, 464, 465. 

Holt, Denbighshire, 133, 144. 
Holtby, Father Richard, S.J., 511. 
Hopton, Sir Owen, Lieut, of the 

Tower, 41, 42, 48, 67, 74, 85, 

loi, 146, 412. 
Home, Adam, 8. 

— Robert, Bp. of Winchester, i, 

8, 9, 92-3. 
Horner, Ven. Nicholas, tailor, M., 

— als. Forest, priest, 423, 427. 
Horsey, Sir John, 2. 
Horsham, 495. 

Hounslow, 399, 406. 

— Heath, 95. 

Howard, Charles, Lord, 396. 

— Mr., II. 

Hoxton, Hogsdon, Middlesex, 185. 
Huddlestone (Hurlstone), Ralph, 

64, 213 ; Randall, Judge, no, 

Hudson, 474. 
Hugh, John, 511. 
Hughes, Edward of the Holt, 

-- John, 132, 135, 137, 138, 141. 

— Mrs. John, 138, 141. 
Huit, see Hewett. 
Hull, 356. 

Hull, Suff. Bp. of, see Pursglove, 

Robert, 333. 
Humber river, Yorks, 217. 
Humphrey, Dr., 319. 

— Laurence, Dean of Winches- 

ter, 13, 18-19. 
Hunt, Mr., 317; his sons, 317. 
Huntingdon, Earl of, Lord Lieu- 
tenant and Lord President of 
the.North, 168, 260, 318, 508. 
Hurlstone, see Huddlestone. 
Hutton, William, 252, 253, 255, 

— Matthew (Dean, afterwards 

Archbishop of York), 262. 
Hyde, Hide, Leonard, 153, 155, 
161, 162, 418. 

— Mr., 355. 

— Thomas, 105. 

Hygate, als. of Ven. R. Sympson, 

M., 344. 
Hythe, Kent, 524. 



Ilchester, 61 ; jail, 61, 295. 

Ingham, Richard, 173. 

Ingleby, Ingilby, Anne, Lady, 
211; EHzabeth, 215; Ven. 
Francis, M., 211-6, 253, 
254, 258 ; Grace, 215 ; Sir 
Henry, 215 ; John, i6g; John 
of Lawkland, i6g ; John of 
Rudby, Yorks, i6g ; Marie, 
215 ; Thomas of Lawkland, 
169 ; Sir William, 211. 

Ingolstadt, 149. 

Ingram, Christopher, 217. 

Ipswich, Suffolk, 293, 473, 498, 
502, 504, 505, 506. 

Ireland, 97, 137. 

Iron Acton, Gloucestershire, 58, 

Isle of Wight, 202, 205, 207, 502. 

Governor of, see Carey, 

Sir George. 
Isleworth, 159. 

Jackson, John, of Douay, diarist, 

James, Ven. Edward, M., 226, 449, 

452, 474, 475, 476, 478, 479, 

480, 485, 486, 487, 489, 490-7, 

504, 540. 

— Mr., 464. 
James I, 430. 

Jenks (Chinckes), book-binder, 

Jenneson, William, 39, 40. 
Jessop, John, 267, 268, 270, 271. 
Johnson, als. of Richardson, B. 
M. Laurence, Mr., 116. 

— Robert, M,, 281. 

Jones, Ven. John, M., als. 
Buckley, O.S.F., 3. 

— Richard, printer, 2. 

— Robert, S.J., 428. 
Judges, list of, 480. 
Julius II, Pope, 376. 
Jurymen, list of, 480, 482. 

Kaye, — of Woodsome, 264 ; 

his daughter, 264. 
Kegworth, Leicestershire, 532. 


Kellison, Matthew, President of 

Douay, 408. 
Kemp, David, als. of Tomson, 
priest, 292. 

— David, 511, 517. 

— Moyle, 172. 

— Sir Thomas, 172. 
Kennet, Bp., 94. 
Kent, 410. 

Kestell, Mr., 235. 
Keynes, Humphrey, 61. 

— James, 61. 
Kingsdown, Kent, 115. 
Kingsmell, Sir William, 4, 5, 19, 

Kingsmill, John, 9. 
Kingston-on-Thames, 439, 440, 

445, 504. 

Kingston-upon-HuU, 275, 510; 
Castle prison, 510; Block- 
house prison, 510 ; North 
Blockhouse prison, 510. 

Kirby, B. Luke, M., 172, 523. 

Kirton, Lanes., 9. 

Knaresborough, Walter, 251. 

Knaresborough, Yorks, 251, 257. 

Knoyle, 296. 

La Rochelle, 473. 
Lacy, or Lassie, Mr., 213. 
Lacy, B. William, 213. 
Lambeth Marsh, 434. 
Lampley, Ven. William, M., 550 2. 
Lancaster, 107, no, 112, 114, 121. 

— Castle, 116, 223. 
Lancaster, John, 176, 480. 

— Roger, 176. 

Langley, A^nes, 259, 264 ; Alice, 
264 ; Catherine, 259, 264 ; 
Christopher, 259, 263, 264 ; 
family of Owsthorpe, 264 ; 
family of Sheriff Hutton, 
264 ; Henry of Dalton, 264 ; 
Isabel, 259, 262, 264; Jane, 
264 ; Joan, 259, 264 ; Mar- 
garet, 259, 264 ; Margery, 
264 ; Mary, 264 ; pedigree, 
264 ; Richard, 259, 263, 264 ; 
Richard of Rathorpe Hall, 
264 ; Ven. Richard, M., 259- 
64 ; Robert of Sheriff Hut- 



ton, 264 ; Thomas, 259, 261, 
264 ; Thomas of Maltonby, 
264 ; Thomas of Rathorpe 
Hall, 264 ; Ursula, 263, 264 ; 
William, 264. 

Langton Herring, Dorset, 93, 230. 

Lanherne, Cornwall, 201. 

Lahounde, see Laon, 

Laon (Lahounde), 77, 173, 200, 
212, 266, 324, 335, 388, 392, 

443. 454. 523- 

Laon, Bp. of, see Douglas, Valen- 
tine, O.S.B. 

Lassie, see Lacy. 

Lateran Council, 486. 

Law, T. G., 430, 442. 

Lawkland, Yorks, 169. 

Lawson, Peter, 79, 80, 83, 86. 

Lawsons of Brough, 79. 

Layburne, James, M., of Skels- 
more, 120. 

Laystoke (? Lowestoft), Suffolk, 
500, 502, 503. 

Lea, als. of Sergeant, Ven. Rich- 
ard, M. 

Lee, see Leigh, Ven. Richard. 

Leeds, 274, 275. 

Leicester, Earl of, 136, 211, 417, 
426, 512, 513, 517, 518, 529 ; 
deputy of, 136. 

Leigh, Lee, als. Earth, Ven. 
Richard, als. Garth, M., 408- 
415, 420, 423. 

Leighton, William of the Plashe, 

Lenton, monks of, 334. 
Leominster, 184 ; grammar school, 

Lewes, Sussex, 175, 479. 
Lewis, Jevan, 133. 
Lewknor, Richard, Justice, 479, 

480, 484, 485, 487, 488. 
Lichfield, diocese of, 461, 523. 
Lichfield, Bp. of, see Overton. 
Liege, 311. 

Little Cheney, Dorset, 93, 230. 
Littlehampton, Sussex, 475, 480, 

493, 494- 
Llanidloes, Montgomery, 127. 
Lloyd, Owen, 425, 426, 428 ; Mrs., 

426 ; two sisters, 426. 

Lloyd, Jevan, 133, 134, 136, 137. 
— see Flower. 
London, 95, 114, 151, 225, 230, 
243, 267, 281, 289, 293, 303, 
318, 319, 338, 357. 362, 364, 
367. 385, 408, 464. 

Bp. of, 444, see Aylmer and 

Bishopsgate, 178, 370. 

Blackfriars, 370. 

Bridge (London), 70, 231. 

Charterhouse, 241. 

Churches, St. Andrew's in Hol- 
born, 395 ; St. Anselm and 
St. Cecilia, 383 ; St. Olave's, 
Hart St., 25; St. Mary 
Magdalene's in Southwark 
St., 400 ; St. Paul's, 39, 40 ; 
St. Paul's Churchyard, 38, 
400 ; Shoreditch Church, 
370 ; St. Sepulchre, 368. 

City Gates, 70 ; Ely Place, 
Holborn, 201. 

Gray's Inn, 169, 384, 386, 515. 

Gray's Inn Court, 293. 

Gray's Inn Fields, 393, 394. 

Guildhall, 44, 232. 

Holborn, 38, 393, 395, 496. 

Holborne Conduit, 184, 186, 

294, 393- 
Inns of Court, 72. 
Inns: — 

Bell at Holborn, 393. 

Blue Boar in Holborn, 293. 

Bishop in Fleet Street, 186. 

Exchequer in Holborn, 393. 

Red Lion in Holborn, 291, 

Sun and Seven Stars, 291. 
Inner Temple, 114, 169, 211. 
Lambeth, 443. 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, 146, 370, 

372, 383, 384. 
Lion's Inn, 177. 
Middle Temple, 411. 
Mile End Green, 358, 360, 365. 
Parishes, All Saints, 150, 154; 

St. Dunstan's, 427. 
Prisons : — 

Bridewell, 14, 402, 403 ; 
chapel, 403, 406, 436. 



London — Prisdns {contd.) — 

Clerkenwell, 226, 387, 395, 

396, 531. 534, 535. 
Clink, 9, 162, 226, 227, 229, 

232, 344, 356, 417, 440, 

443, 444, 471, 476, 477, 

494, 500, 501, 502, 504, 

505, 533, 539, 540. 
Counter, 14. 
Counter in Woodstreet, 183, 

201, 532. 
Counter, Poultry, 24, 162, 

401, 402. 
Fleet, 39, 56, 185, 340, 346, 

Gatehouse, 24, 33, 38, 40, 41, 

174, 235, 357, 533, 534- 

HoUoway, 537. 

Marshalsea, 58, 62, 67, 69, 
73, 86, 101, 207, 229, 230, 
284, 292, 361, 362, 405, 
406, 426, 427, 466, 448, 
449, 456, 471, 474, 475, 
476, 477, 478, 493, 494, 
504, 525, 526, 533 ; Knight 
Marshal of, see Carey. 

Newgate, 9, 27, 147, 153, 
155, 161, 162, 187, 245, 
354, 356, 358, 359, 368, 
370, 383, 395, 401, 402, 
403, 404, 405, 406, 412, 

423, 427, 444, 449, 456, 
512, 515, 528, 531, 533; 
•• Hangman " of, see Bull 
" Limbo " in Newgate, 
403 ; keeper of, see Deyos. 

Old Bailey, 153, 161, 181, 
201, 364, 369, 382, 396, 

Star Chamber, 41. 

Tower, 23, 26, 27, 33, 37, 39, 
40, 41, 42, 44, 48, 68, 74, 
85-90, 98, 103, 146, 150, 
151, 177, 281, 283, 284, 
361, 411, 412, 470, 477, 
511 ; Lieutenant of, see 
Hopton, Ouen, Tower 
Gate, 68 ; Broad Arrow 
Tower, 99; Little Ease, 
282, 402. 
Privy Council, 83, 84. 

Recorder of, see Fleetwood, 

William, 445. 
Sahsbury Court, 355. 
Schools, St. Dunstan within 
Temple Bar, 95 ; Mercer's, 
in Paternoster Royalty, 532. 
Smithfield, 291. 
Streets :— 

Aldersgate, 148 ; Bishopsgate 
Without, 201 ; Bread, 150, 
154 ; Farringdon, 367, 427 ; 
Fleet, 186, 267, 294, 355 ; 
Gracechurch, 370 ; Gray's 
Inn Lane, 515; Hart, 25; 
Lombard, 370 ; Long Lane 
End, 148 ; Ludgate, 370 ; 
Paternoster Row, 532 ; 
Strand, 394 ; Thames 
Street, Turning Lane, 393 ; 
Tothill, Tuttle, 15. 
Theatres : — 

•' The Curtain," Shoreditch, 

*« Theatre," Holloway, 522, 

Two playhouses in Black- 
friars, 370. 
Shoreditch, The Theatre, 
366, 370. 
Town Clerk, 155, 156, 158. 
Tower Hill, 27. 
Tower Wharf, 336, 357, 527. 
Tuttle, Tothill, 185. 
Long, als. of Sergeant, Ven. 

Richard, M. 
Longford, Gloucester, 162. 
Loughborough, 317. 
Louvain, 203, 321. 

— St. Monica's Augustinian 

Convent, 166. 

— St. Ursula's Convent, 199. " 
Lovell, Lady, 401, 402. 

Low Hall, Farnham, 251. 
Lowe, John, of Lancashire, 223. 

— Ven. John, M., 115, 223-8, 245. 
Lucar, 541. 

Luckcombe, Somerset, 71. 
Ludlam, Ven. Robert, M., 330-50. 
Ludlow, Shropshire, 451,455. 
Luifenham, North, Rutlandshire, 



Lumley, Lord, 26, 32. 
Lutterworth, Leicestershire, 301, 

302, 305. 
Lyford, 61, 161, 362. 
Lyne, Ven. Anne, M., 201. 

— Roger, 201. 

" Lynton of Craven," Yorkshire, 

Lyon Key, 410. 
Lyster, Thomas, S.J., 173. 
Lyversage, Mr., 390, 391. 

Mancano, Padre Juan Lopez, S.J., 

Macclesfield, William, 305, see 

Madrid, 16. 

Magdeburg Centuriators, 23. 
Magewyke, William, 480. 
Mainy {see Manny), Anne, 241, 

— John, 242. 

— Richard, 241, 242, 243, 247. 
Mallory, Anne, 211. 

— Sir William, 211. 
Malton, 259, 264. 
Manchester, 109. 

— College, 119. 
Manners, Magistrate, 339. 
Manny, Sir Walter de, 241. 
Manston, Dorset, i. 
Manston, ? Maxton, Dorset, 294, 
Manwood, Roger, Baron, 456, 

458, 551- 
Mapledurham, 10. 
Marchaumont, Mgr. Cosme 

Clausse de, Bp. of Chalons- 

sur-Marne, 60, 173, 185, 203, 

217, 230. 
Marches, Council of the, 132, 

Marsden, Richard, 202. 
Marsden, Ven. William, M., 202- 

Marsh, John, 510, 511, 517. 
Martin, Gregory, 11, 24, 27, 30, 


— Ven. Richard, M., 383, 422-4, 


— Richard, recorder of London, 


Martinstown, Dorset, 229, 230. 

Marwood, William, 237. 

Mary, Queen of England, 373, 

Masham, a sheriff, 69. 
Mass, see Analytical Index, § 6. 
Mathew, Toby, Archbishop of 

York, 171, 522, 524. 
Mawdesley, 50. 
Maxfield, Humphrey, 38. 

— William, 304. 
Maxton, see Manston. 

Mayes, Henry, Lord Mayor of 

York, 189-97 ; Mrs., 189. 
Mayor of London, Lord, 155. 
Mayne, B. Cuthbert, 311, 437. 
Meares, Laurence, 164, 168. 
Meeching, Sussex, 175. 
Mellor, Derbyshire, 331. 
Meltonby, 259, 264. 
Mendoza, Dom Bernadin, 414. 
Merevell, Mr., keeper of York 

Castle jail, 214 ; jailor of Low 

House, York, 314. 
Michelgrove, John, 421 ; Elizabeth, 

Michelgrove, 416. 
Middlemore, John, 173. 
Middleton, Ven. Anthony, 18. 

— Margaret, see Clitherow, 188. 

— Thomas, 188. 
Milan, 177, 376, 462. 
Mile End, 351. 

Mile End Green, 513, 516, 518, 

519, 520, 529. 
Millington, 264. 
Milverton, Somersetshire, 60, 62, 

Minims, order of, 241. 
Miriadock, Denbighshire, 133. 
Molanus quoted, 219, 232. 
Monkaster, Mr., 319. 
Monkewarde, 190. 
Monksdale, 334. 
Monkton Farleigh, Wilts, 184. 
Montacute House, near Yeovil, 

Somersetshire, 52, 55, 56, 57. 
Montagu, Lord, 178. 
Monte Cassino, 408. 
Moore (Morgent), Hugh, M., 365, 

383, 384-6, 420. 



Moore, Mr., 384, 385. 
More, Fr. Henry, 174. 

— B. Thomas, M., 139, 338. 
Morecott, William, 174. 
Morgan, Hugh, mistake for Moore, 

Hugh, 386. 

— Thomas, 178. 

— William, 176. 
Morgent, see Moore. 

Morley, Thomas, vicar of Mon- 
tacute, 56. 

Moroni, Giovanni, Cardinal Bp. 
of Ostia and Velletri, and pro- 
tector of England, 36. 

Morris, John, Fr., S.J., 201, 221, 

439, 440- 

— pursuivant, 25. 

— Robert, 132, 135, 137, 138, 

Morton, Anne, 372 ; Anthony, 
372 ; Benjamin, 273 ; Daniel, 
372; Mrs., 372; Nicholas, 

D.Dm 39, 372, 373, 374; 
tablet erected to, in Rome, 
372, 373 ; Ven. Robert, M., 
372-82, 386 ; Robert, 423 ; 
a deacon, M., 462; Robert, 
senior, 372, 373 ; Samson, 
372; William, 372; Relatives 
of Ven. Robert, M., ^75. 

Moseley, executioner, 308. 

Mouche, see Mush. 

Mountain, Humphrey, 214. 

Mowbreck Hall, 35, 36. 

Munday, Andrew, 294, 295. 

— Anthony, apostate and writer, 

48, 49. 
Munday, — , 432. 
Munden, John, of Wells diocese, 

Mundyn, Ven. John, M., 67, 68, 

74, 90, 92-106. 
Mirfield, 259, 264. 
Munkefreston, Yorks, 352. 
Murford, Thomas, 480. 
Mush (Mouche), John, 166, 167, 

168, 189, igo, 213, 215, 224, 

225, 260. 
Mussoponte, see Pont-^-Musson. 
Mutton, John, 482. 
Mychell, Thomas, 480. 

Mylane Green, see Mile End Green. 
Mynors, Mynoures, John, 148, 

150, 161, 361. 
Mynoures, William, 305. 

Nantwich, Nant Wyche, 390. 

Navarre, King of, 517. 

Nayler, Richard, 172. 

Naylor, Mr., 535. 

Neale, or Neele, John, als. of 

Roche, John, 437, 438. 
Nele, John, 232. 
Newall, pursuivant, 388. 
Newcastle, 293, 381, 500, 502. 
Newcastle-on-Tyne, 527. 
Newhaven, 78, 79. 
Newhaven, Sussex, 175. 
Newhaven, 475, 493. 
Newhaven in Normandy, 357. 
Nicholas (? Wheeler), 172. 
Nicols, George, 266. 
Nicholson, see Norris, Richard, 

Nightingale, James, 292. 
Normandy, 231. 
Normanton, Yorks, 35. 
North Riding of Yorkshire, 167, 

Northampton, 319. 
Northumberland, Countess of, 

470, 472. 

— Earl of, 123 ; see Percy, 
Norris {or Nicholson), Richard, 62, 

64, 66, 67. 
Norris, Richard, 292. 

— pursuivant, 40, 41, 42, 186. 
Norton, Anthony, 10, 14. 

— Benjamin, i, 10, 229, 416, 


— George, 354, 355; family, 

355, 359- 

— John, 372 ; daughter of, 372. 

— pursuivant, 39. 

— Sir Richard, 10, 11 ; " The 

Rebel," 351, 352, 353, 


— Thomas, 27, 29, 30, 33. 
Norton Conyers, 372. 
Norwich, 401. 
Nottingham, 522. 

Novara, Bishop of, see Speciani. 



Nutter family, 76. 

Nutter, John, Dean of Chester, 


— Ven. John, M., 67, 68, 74, 76- 

gi, 100, loi. 

— Ven. Robert, M., 76, 77. 

Olney, Bucks, 466. 

Orange, Prince of, assassinated, 

Orford Ness, 80. 
Osburne, John, 480. 

— Nicholas, 480. 

— Peter, 483. 
Oscott, 174, 312. 

Ostliffe, Ostclifife, George, 115. 
Ostia, Cardinal Bp. of, see 

Ousebridge, York, 214, 254. 
Ousebridge Counter, York, 253. 

— Jail, 253. 

— Kidcote, Yorks, 218, 252, 

263, 275, 510. 

— Kidcote, prison in, 263. 
Oven, John, 175, 479, 481, 485, 


— Walter, 176. 

— Piers, 136, 141. 

— William, 375, 377. 

— William, 462. 

Owen, Mr., of Lincoln's Inn, 146. 

Overton, William, Bp., Coventry 
and Lichfield, 305, 306. 

Overton, Flintshire, 127. 

Oxford, 2, 18, 54, 55, 56, 59, 77, 
92, 107, 127, 150, 152, 171, 
175, 176, 265, 267, 274, 305, 
319, 332, 340, 380, 452, 524; 
Assizes, 380 ; Bocardo, 171. 

Oxford Churches, St. Mary's, 

Oxford Colleges and Halls: — 
All Souls, 171; Balliol, 175, 
265 ; Brasenose, 77, 202, 
203, 211 ; Christ Church, 127, 
171, 301 ; Corpus Christi, 52, 
57, 150, 176, 543, 548 ; Exeter, 
291 ; Gloucester Hall, see 
Worcester College ; Hart 
Hall, 72; Jesus, 451, 452, 
455 ; Merton, 172, 176 ; New, 

I, 8,: II, 14, 52, 57, 92, 93, 
95, 105, 152, 203, 229 ; Oriel, 
279 ; Pembroke, olim Broad- 
gates Hall, 384, 422; St. 
John's, 53, 54, 71, 72, 74, 171, 
172, 452, 453, 469, 473, 490, 
522, 523, 528; St. John 
Baptist's Hall, 469 ; St. 
Mary's Hall, 176, 202, 203 ; 
White Hall, 451, 455 ; Wor- 
cester, olim Gloucester Hall, 
53, 54, 150, 331, 332, 342, 
469, 470, 473 ; Conversions 
at, 176. 
Oxford Parishes,St. M. Magdalene, 

— University, 200, 229, 265, 

279, 453, 490, 544, 545. 

— Vice-Chancellor, 319. 

Pace, John, 235. 

Padley Hall, High Peak, 338; 
Chapel, 339, 349. 

— priest's hole at, 338. 
Paine, Mr., 389. 

Palmer, Sir Thomas, 479, 480. 

— William, 54. 

Papal Sec. of State, see Galli. 

Paris, 105, 149, 150, 157, 173, 
176-9, 292, 318, 378, 381, 
463, 465, 473, 515, 516; 
Notre Dame, 317. 

Parker, Brian, judge, no, 121. 

— Thomas, saddler, 265. 
Parry, Dr., 484. 

Parry, als. Morgan, priest, 226. 
Parsons, Thomas, 177, 178. 

— see Persons. 
Patchman, 421. 
Patenson, Bernard, 261. 
Paul IV, Pope, 46. 
Paul's Cross, 411. 
Pauncefoot, John, 147, 148, 150; 

Dorothy, 147, 148, 150. 
Payne, B. John, M., 18. 

— pursuivant, 25. 

Peckham, Edmund, 236, 237, 242, 
244, 250. 

— Mrs., 241. 

— Sir George, 236, 250. 
Pendle Forest, Whalley, Lanes, 76. 



Penkevel, Peter, imprisoned for 
faith, 528. 

Penshurst, Kent, 421. 

Percy, Henry, Earl of Northum- 
berland, 470 ; children of, 

— family, 351, 470. 

— B. Thomas, M., 470. 
Persall, Charles, 176. 

Persons, Parsons, Fr. Robert, SJ., 
II, 146, 150, 151, 183, 265, 
356, 377, 386, 463, 524, 538. 

Petre, Lady, 432. 

Phelips, see Phelps. 

Phelps, Sir Edward, 57. 

— Thomas, 57. 

— William, 57. 
Phillips, Fabian, 135. 
Piacenza, 462. 
Pierpointe, Gervase, 427. 

Piers, John, Bishop of Salisbury, 

Pike, Ven. William, carpenter, M., 

Pilchard, Pilcher, Pylcher, Ven. 

Thomas, als. Foster, M., 265- 

273. 299. 
Pilkington, Robert, 408. 
Pippyn, James, 294. 
Pitts, Arthur, priest, 39, 40, 66, 67, 

Pius V, Pope, 28, 400. 
Plain John, nickname of Ven. 

John Nutter, M., in prison, 

Plantin, printer, 23. 
Plashe, The, 135. 
Plater, Mrs., 241. 
Plumptons of Plumpton, 372. 
Poems on Martyrs, 348, 349. 
Pole, Edward, 235. 

— De la, family, 340. 
Germain, 340. 

Pont-^-Musson, Mussoponte, 290. 

Popham, Sir John, Attorney 
General, afterwards Lord 
Chief Justice (1582), 46, 68, 

89, 99, 147, 152, 155, 297- 
Pope, The, 5, 148, 149. 
Potter, George, 172, 474, 476, 


Potter, als. of Stransham, George. 

Poulton, Lanes, 39. 

Pounde, Thomas, 283. 

Poyntz, Sir Nicholas, 57, 58, 59, 

Prees Hall, Kirkham, 343. 

Preston, 121. 
— Kidcote prison, 121. 

Prestwold, Leicester, 317. 

Probert, Tudor, 137. 

Puckering, Sergeant, afterwards 
Sir John, 357, 363, 368, 386, 
389, 405, 419, 423, 428, 432, 
443, 444, 448, 449, 45i, 457, 
458, 466, 467, 476, 483, 494, 
502, 503. 

Pugh, Harry, 134. 

Puleston, Roger, gent., 128, 130, 

Pursglove, Robert, Bp. Suffragan 
of Hull, and Prior of Gis- 
burne in Cleveland, 333, 460 ; 
deprived of his see on refusing 
the Act of Supremacy, 333 ; 
established a Grammar School 
at Tideswell and at Gisburne, 
333 ; received ^200 a year 
when monastery suppressed, 

Pylcher, see Pilchard, 
Pytt, John, 480. 


Radborne, Rathborne, Derby, 
340 ; Hall, 340. 

Radcliffe, William, 372 ; daughter 
of, 372. 

Ragazzoni, Mgr. Girolamo, Apos- 
tolic Nuncio in France, Bp. of 
Bergamo, 149, 152. 

Raglan, Monmouth, 366. 

Rainolds, Reynolds, William, 14, 
106, 150, 204. 

Raissius, chronicler, 459, 472, 

Randolph, Thomas, 146. 
Rasyn, Raison, John, 9. 
Ratcliff, Leicester, 532. 



Rathorpe Hall, Dalton, 259. 

Rawlins, Alexander, 243. 

Reade, a tutor, 473. 

Reason, Rayson, see Rasyn. 

Reedley Hallows, Lancaster, 76. 

Reynold, Edmund, 150. 

Reynolds, Reynold, see Rainolds. 

Rheims, 14, 37, 38, 46, 66, 67, 69, 
93, 94, 100, loi, 149, 174, 175, 
176, 184, 212, 213, 217, 223, 
230-6, 239, 353, 354, 357, 
366, 367, 373-9, 381, 426, 
443» 447, 455, 462, 463, 473, 
474, 480, 481-91, 492, 493, 
498, 499, 506, 511, 523, 526, 
527, 540, 545, 546, 548; 
Cathedral, 173, 200, 203, 220, 
292, 448, 499, 523, 546. 
Chapel of St. Remy, 378. 
Church of Our Lady, 217. 
Church of St. Stephen's, 274, 

St. Mary's, 185. 

English College at, 55-60, 72, 
73, 77, 78, 115, 116, 146, 148, 
164, 172, 173, 200, 203, 211, 
220, 225, 241, 265, 267, 275, 
276, 280, 284, 285, 289, 292, 

323, 335, 337, 341, 385, 388, 
401, 402, 404, 408, 409, 453, 

454, 509. 
Vice-President of, see Barrett. 
Rhodes, Roades, judge, 255, 256, 

Rhodes, Island of, 421. 
Ribadeneira, Fr., S.J., 441, 459, 

Richardson, Edm., Mayor of 
York, 190 ; his wife, 190-2. 

— B. Laurence, vere Johnson, 

Richmond, London, 84, 85. 
Rilston-in-Craven, 372. 
Ripley, Yorks, 211. 

— Castle, 215. 
Ripon, Yorks, 313, 320. 
Rishton, Edward, 162. 
Risse, Dr., 75. 
Robinson, Francis, 498, 506. 

— Ven. John, M., 498-507. 

— Mrs., 498. 

Roche, Ven. John, als. Neele, M., 
409, 423, 430-8. 

Rodgers, 355 ; Mrs., 355. 

Roe, Thomas or Christopher, 151, 

Roger, Thomas, als. Berden, 
Nicholas, spy, 179. 

Rokeby, Ralph, Master of St. 
Katherines, 207. 

Rookbye [Ralph], 232. 

Rome, 14, 35-8, 43, 46, 49, 67, 
72, 96, lor, 224, 228, 235, 
275, 276, 281, 380, 462-5, 
527 ; English College in, 
36, 39, 72, 73, 94, 150, 173, 
224, 311, 372, 376-80, 408, 
456, 460, 461, 491, 492, 506 ; 
English Hospice, 276, 409. 

Rome, Churches : — 

St. Peter, 37; St. Paul, 37; 
St. Sebastian, 37 ; St. John 
Lateran, 37 ; Holy Cross in 
Jerusalem, 37; St. Lawrence, 
37; St. Mary Major, 37; 
Seven Churches of, 37 ; Pil- 
grimage to, 97. 

Rouci-Sissonne, de, Mgr. Charles, 
Bp. of Soissons, 77, 173, 230. 

Rouen, 16, 78, 149, 175, 178, 292, 
293, 298, 463. 

Rouse, see Rowsham. 

Rowsham, Rouse, Ven, Stephen, 
M., 221, 279-87, 493, 551. 

Rudby, Yorks, 169. 

Rudston, John, 263, 264 ; Ursula, 
263, 264. 

Ruffyn, William, 482. 

Rug, near Corwen, 130. 

Rumbridger, John, 480. 

Rushton, Northants, 185. 

Ruthin, 144. 

Ruthin Jail, 130, 131. 

Ruyle, Gilbert, 319. 

Rye, 175, 207 ; Sussex, 292. 

Sackforth, Mr., 155. 
Sackville, Anne, 453. 
— Sir Richard, 453. 
Sadler, a Scot, 319. 
St. Andrews, Archbishop of, see 
Douglas, John. 



St. Asaph, 491. 

— Bp. of, see Goldwell. 
Saint-John, William, 4. 

St. Mabyn, near Bodmin, 290. 
St. Omer, 313. 
Saire, Robert, see Sayers. 
Salford, House of Rogues, 119. 

— Jail, 35, 39, n?, "9. 
Salisbury Hall, 343. 
Salisbury, Salusbury, John, 130 ; 

Mrs., 400, 402. 
Salisbury, 288, 296 ; Bp. of, see 

Piers Cathedral, 321. 
Sander, Saunders, Sister Elizabeth, 
O.SS. S. 16, 17. 

— Saunders, Nicholas, 16, 17, 

52, 97, 137, 418. 
Sandys, Ven. John, M., 220-2, 286, 

Sawnder, John, 480. 
Sayers, Saire, Robert, monk, 

O.S.B., 408. 
Scarborough, Yorks, 79. 
Scarvill, John, 480. 
Scot, Anne, 241. 

— Sir Reginald, 241. 
Scotland, 381. 

Scots, Queen of, see Mary Stuart. 

Scudamore, Harry, 388 ; Sir 
James, 388 ; John, 388. 

Sefton, 77. 

Sergeant, Ven. Richard, M., als. 
Lea, als. Long, life of, 200, 

Seton, Thomas, 317. 

Shelley, Shellye, Archdeacon 
Henry, 10, 417 ; Edward, 162, 
416, 421 ; Edward, of War- 
minghurst, 421 ; Ven. Edward, 
M., 356, 358, 362, 364, 365, 
416-21, 423 ; Elizabeth, 421 ; 
George, 421 ; Henry, 421 ; 
Joan, 421; Sir John, 416; 
Sir John of Michelgrove, 421 ; 
Sir John, Knight of Rhodes, 
421 ; Justice, 475, 493 ; Mrs., 
417 ; Pedigree, 421 ; Percy 
Bysshe, poet, 416 ; Richard, 
417 ; Richard of Alcanning, 
421 ; Richard of Patcham, 
421 ; Sir William, 421 ; of 

Castle Goring, 416 ; of Warm- 
inghurst, 416. 

Shelton, Mr., Queen's Attorney, 

Sherer, Thomas, 135. 

Sherson, Martin, priest and con- 
fessor, 409. 

Shert, B. John, M., 47, 281. 

Sherwood, Richard, 236. 

Showell, Robert, 432. 

Shrewsbury, Earl of, see Talbot. 

Shutte, Chief Baron, 27, 30. 

Shyrley, John, 480. 

Sidington St. Mary, Gloucester, 

Sidney, Sir Henry, 132. 

Silkmoor, Gallows' Flat, in parish 
of Castlechurch, 308. 

Silvage, near Ilminster, 61. 

Simpson, Richard, 283, 477, 496. 

Sittingbourne, Kent, 455, 456. 

Skillicorne, William, 343. 

Slacke, Richard, 66, 67. 

Slade, John, of Manston, i. 

— Ven. John, M., 1-18. 

— William, 2. 

— William, S.J., 172, 173. 
Slater, John, 480. 

Sledd, pursuivant, 39 
Small, Christopher, 232. 
Smith, Annie, 241, 242, 245-247. 

— Nicholas, S.J., novice, 146. 

— Richard, Bp. of Chalcedon, i, 

II, 229, 257, 273, 443. 

— William, 38. 

Snell, Mr., under sheriff of York, 

Soissons, 146, 173, 200, 230, 266, 
274, 280, 341, 353, 404. 

— Bp. of, see Rouci-Sissonne. 

— Cathedral, 239. 
Sommerfield, 137. 

SouUey, Hugh, apostate, 129, and 

vicar of Wrexham, 133, 134, 

South Maperton, Dorset, 92. 
Southwell, Ven. Robert, S.J., M., 

358, 399, 400, 402, 403, 407, 

Southwark, Manor of, 500. 
Spain, King of, 148, 149, 352, 528. 



Spanish invasion, danger of, occa- 
sions persecution, 395. 

Spaw, The, 541. 

Speciani,Cesare, Mongr., 36, after- 
wards Bp. of Novara and of 
Cremona, 36. 

Spencer, Spenser, John, Sheriff, 
48, 50, 69, 74. 

Spiritualism and the alleged pos- 
sessions, 237, 242, 243. 

Spratt, Edward, 304. 

Sprott, Mr., 305, see Spratt. 

Stafford, Miss, 334; Nigel de, 

Stafford, 301, 304, 305, 336, 
Stafford, Richard, 334. 
Staines, 96. 
Stamp, Mr., 244. 
Standish, Alexander, 202. 
— Alice, 202. 

Standish Hall, Lancashire, 202. 
Standley, Sir Rowland, 392. 
Stanney, Fr. Thomas, S.J., 184, 

Stansham, see Stransham. 
Stanway, 220. 
Stapleton, Mrs., 194. 
Stephenson, Thomas, S.J., 385, 

Stock, William, 53, 54. 
Stockar, Thomas, 231. 
Stoke, Dorset, 71. 
Stoke, Nottingham, 317. 
Stoker, George, 433. 
Stokes, Walter, 273, 287, 298. 
Stone, Gloucestershire, 200. 
Stonor, Dame, 525 ; John, 525. 
Stonor Park, Henley, 525. 
Story, B. John, M., 137. 
Stourton, William, 61. 
Stow, historian, 396, 445. 
Stradlinge, John, 482. 
Strange, Mrs., 285. 
Stransham, Ven. Edward, M., als. 

Barber, 171-82, 185, 491 ; 

Francis, 171 ; George, als. 

Potter, 172 ; John, 172 ; 

Lawrence, 171 ; Robert, 171 ; 

Thomas, 172 ; of Canterbury, 

171 ; of Faversham, 171 ; of 

Kent, 171 ; Worcester, 172. 

Strimshaw, Norfolk, 56. 

Stuart, Mary, Queen of Scots, 24, 

179, 317. 318, 339. 
Studley, 211. 
Sutton, Abraham, 301, 302, 303, 

304, 307, 309, 310 ; John, 301. 

— Ven. Robert, priest, M., 301- 


— Ven. Robert, layman, M., 514, 

516, 531-6, 541; William, 
301, 302, 303, 304, 309. 
Sutton Place, Woking, 311. 
Sydenham family, 61. 
Sydney, Sir Harry, 138. 
Sykes, Ven. Edmund, M., 274-8, 

Symons, als. of Harrison, John. 
Sympson, Ven. Richard, M., 330- 


Tailby, Christopher, 418. 

Tailour, Thomas, 209. 

Talbot, George, Earl of Shrews- 
bury, and Guardian of Mary 
Stuart, 338, 339. 

Talbot family, 343. 

Tanfield, 432. 

Tate, Agnes, 264 ; William, 264. 

Taunton, 295. 

Taunton, Franciscan Convent, 215. 

Taylor, Ven. Hugh, M., 164-5, 
168, 169, 258. 

— James, 174. 

Tedder, Thomas, als. Fletcher, 65. 

— William, 100. 
Tesh, Anne, 194. 
Thames, 231, 337. 

Thelwall, Ithel, 130 ; Simon, 130, 

135, 137. 138, 143- 

Thompson, Ven. William, als. 
Blackburn, 200, 201, 244. 

Thornbery, Francis, 304. 

Thornbury, 305, see Thornbery. 

Thornley, 202. 

Thornell, Edmund, 72. 

Throckmorton (Throgmorton), 
Francis, 137 ; Francis, con- 
spirator, 177, 178 ; Muriel, 
185 ; Sir Robert, 185 ; Thomas, 

Thules, John, 292. 



Thulis, 244. 

Thwing, Ven. Edward, M., 176. 

Thymolby, Mrs., 355. 

Tibbit, John, 292. 

Tibnam Longrow, Norfolk, 473. 

Tichborne, Touchbourne, Ben- 
jamin, 4 ; Henry, 10 ; family, 

Tideswell, 334, 349, 460, 461 ; 
School, 332, 333. 

Toledo, Cardinal, 174. 

Tollerton, Yorks, 515. 

Tomson, William, 292. 

— see Kemp. 

Topcliffe, Richard, priesthunter, 
25, 26, 246, 339, 342, 351, 352, 

353, 354, 357, 4i3, 417, 494, 

520 ; examiner, 483. 
Tower Hill, 311. 
Towneley, John, 38. 
Towneley Hall, Lanes., 38. 
Townsend, Henry, 135. 
Tracy, Paul, High SherilT, 220, 

Travers, Mr,, 11. 
Trayford, William, 237. 
Traysalpina, Bp, of, 293. 
Tregian, Francis, 437, 438. 
Tregwethan, als. of Hambley, 

Ven. John, M. 
Tremayne, Mr., 226. 
Trenchard, George, 2. 
Tresham, Sir Thomas, 185 ; 

Muriel, Lady, 185. 
Trevethan, see Tregwethan. 
Trewe, Andrew, 252. 

— John, 195. 
Turner, John, 482. 
Twichener, Anthony, 8. 
Twickenham Road, 406. 
Tyburn, 34, 38, 52, 69, 71, 74, 76, 

77, 90, 92, 145, 161, 171, 181, 
183, 200, 201, 228, 229, 232, 
234, 282, 391, 408, 413, 416, 
420, 422, 423, 427, 428, 430, 
436, 437, 537, 538, 541- 

Tyrie, Fr., S.J., 381. 

Tyrrell, Anthony, apostate, 226, 
245, 247, 410, 411 ; spy, 244 ; 
his accusations and repent- 
ances, 244-5 ; his confession 

of betraying a priest, 410 ; his 
attempt to abjure heresy, 411. 

UxENDEN Manor, Harrow-on-the- 
Hill, 389, 394. 

Valladolid, 441. 

Vaudemont, de. Cardinal, 378, 379. 

Vautrollier, J., printer, 414. 

Vaux, Lord, 243. 

Vele, Joan, 161. 

— John, 161. 

Velletri, Card. Bp. of, see Moroni. 
Venice, 38. 
Verdun, 77, 289. 

Vero,Guillermo,5^^ Way, William. 
Volvedon, Cornwall, 437. 

W., P. H., one of Walsingham's 
spies (? one of the Tich- 
burnes), 26. 

Waius, see Way, William. 

Wales Seminary, Priests in, 129. 

Wallen, Mathew, 177. 

Walpole, Ven. Henry Martyr, 
S.J., 413, 419, 444, 519. 

Walsingham, Sir Francis, Secre- 
tary of State, 26, 62, 85, 93, 
94, 96, 97, 98, 138, 267, 283, 
319, 363, 389, 448, 476, 494, 
495, 501, 540. 

Ward, Ven. Margaret, M., 409, 
423, 430-8. 

Warfoid, William, Father, S.J. ,17, 
72, 203, 268, 281, 374, 512. 

Warmington, William, 66, 67, 292. 

Warminghurst, Sussex, 416, 421. 

Warner, John, Archdeacon of 
Cleveland, 53. 

Warnford, Richard, 11, 17. 

Warrington, Lancashire, 107. 

Waterton, a Catholic, 336. 

Wath, near Tanfield, Yorks, 276. 

Watkins, Mr., 294. 

Watson, Bp. of Winchester, 17. 

— John, 480. 

— William (? Richard), priest, 

409, 430, 432, 434, 435, 437, 



Way, Ven. William, als. Flower, 
M. (sometimes mis-called 
Wigges), 439-46, 504, 540. 

Way, Warden of the Marshalsea, 

Webbe, 292, 293. 

'Webley, Weblie, Welley, Alice, 
162; Armigeri, 162; family, of 
Gloucester, 361 ; Ven. Henry, 
M., 161, 358, 360-5 ; Joane, 
161 ; John, dyer, 161 ; John, 
dyer, Mayor of Gloucester, 
361 ; Thomas, 162, 163, 418 ; 
Thomas, dyer, 362 ; Ven. 
Thomas, M., 145-63 ; William, 
161, 362. 

Webster, Arthur, apostate, 275. 

— Frances, confessor for faith, 

218, 275. 

— Mrs., 275. 

Weldon, John, als. of Hewett. 

Welley, see Webley. 

Wells, Ven. Swithin, M., 184, 243, 

Wells, Somerset, 8, 10, 55, 

— Cathedral, 9, 52. 
Wells, Ripon, 342. 
Wentworth, Mary, 264 ; Michael, 

West, Lady, 267. 

— Thomas, 4. 

West Riding, Yorks, 252, 259. 
Westbrooke, William, 480. 
Westby, Helen, 34. 

— Miss ? 38. 

— William, 34. 
Westchester, see Chester. 
Westmoreland, Earl of, 37, 123, 

Westminster, 9 ; Dean of, see 

Goodman ; Hall, loi ; Queen's 

Bench, 67, 68, 73, 90, 100, 

loi, 356, 526. 
Weston family, 311. 

— Francis, 311. 

Weston, William, als. Edmonds, 
S.J., 226, 227, 237, 240, 242, 

Weston, 427. 

Whalley, The Monk of, 50. 

Whalley, Lanes, 76. 
Wheathall, Somerset, 92, 230. 
Wheeler, Ven. Nicholas, M., als. 

of Woodfen and Woodfrey, 

172, 174, 183-7. 
Whitaker, William, 204. 
White, vere Gwyn, Catherine, 
138, 139, 140, 141. 

— Keble, 490. 

— Ven. Richard, vere Gwyn, 

M., 127-44; ^^^ Gwyn. 

— Robert, 4, 6. 

— Sir Thomas, 53. 

Whiting, B. Richard, Abbot of 
Glastonbury, M., 364. 

" Whiting of Lancashire," 26. 

Whittel, Whittall, Mrs., 432 ; Mr., 
294, 432, 438. 

Widmerpool, Ven. Robert, M., 450, 
458, 466, 467, 469-72. 

Widmerpool, Nottingham, 469. 

Widmerpoole, or Wodmerpole, 
Robert, 469 ; family of Wid- 
merpool, 469. 

Wigges, William, mistaken for 
Way, William, M., 439-42; 
confessor, 153, 155, 161, 162, 
418, 439, 441. 

Wigginton, preacher, 195. 

Wigmore, 441, 472. 

Wilcocks, Wylkox, spy, 272. 

Wilcox, Ven. Robert, M., 447-50, 
458-66, 467, 469, 471, 472. 

Wildon, John, layman, prosecuted 
for having a devout wife, 519 ; 
Mrs.. 519. 

Willec, see Willis. 

William of York, St., 311. 

Williams, Frideswide, 239-42, 
245, 247; Maurice, 293; 
Maurice Morris (perhaps Ven. 
Richard), 539, 540-2; Rich- 
ard, Ven., M., 537-542; Sarah, 
237, 240-3, 247. 

Williamson, Thomas, no, 120,124. 

Willis, Willec, Wyllace, Francis, 
vere Stransham, 177. 

Wilson, Robert, 441, 442, 446. 

Winchester, i, 4, 11, 12, 13, 23, 
95, 96, 208, 209, 267 ; bishops 
of, 500 ; bishops (protestant. 



of), see Cowper, Home, 
Watson ; College, 8, 52, 92, 
95, 105, 229; College Warden, 
see Bilson, Thomas ; dean of, 
see Humphrey, Laurence ; 
Jail, 2, 4, 10, II, 16, 73, 93, 
205 ; market place, 4. 

Wing, Rutland, 316, 319. 

Wingfield, als. of Davis, Richard, 

Winterbourne, St. Martin, or 
" Mar tens- towne," 230. 

Wisbech, Wisbyche, 363, 501, 
512, 529, 540; Castle, 174, 
439, 474, 477 ; jail, 151, 161, 
448, 456 ; " relegatus in in- 
sulam," 283. 

Witch persecution in Europe, 236. 

Witchcraft, hanging women for, 

Wodmerpole, see Widmerpoole. 
Wolley, the Latin Secretary, 96. 
Wollock, Bartholomew, 317. 
Wolsey, John, 304. 
Wombwell, ? of Wombwell, 264 ; 

Margery, 264. 
Woodfen, Ven. Nicholas, M., als. 

Wheeler, 174, 181, 183-7. 
Woodfin, A., 184. 
Woodfrey, see Woodfen. 
Woodroffe, Robert, 76, 78. 
WooUey, 264. 
Worcester, 234. 
Worsley, Erasmus, 305. 

— pursuivant, 388. 

— Ralph, 118. 

— Robert, Keeper of New Fleet, 

Salford, 117. 
Worswick, Thomas, 305, 307. 
Worthington, Dr., 385, 442, 446, 

454, 459, 472. 
Wrexham, Denbighshire, 127, 128, 

129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135, 

144, 481. 
Wrexham, Black Chamber (Siam- 

brddu) 130, 135. 
Wright, William, 4, 11. 
Wyckliff, heretic, 302. 
Wye, Kent, 172. 

Wykeham, Bp. William, 93. 
Wylkox, see Wilcocks. 
Wyllace, see Willis. 
Wymark, Mr., 317 ; his sons, 317. 
Wyn, Derbyshire, 522. 

Yale, 133, 134, 136, 137. 

Yarmouth, 79. 

Yarmouth Roads, 500, 502. 

Yates, Mr., schoolmaster, 76. 

Yeomans, William, 205. 

Yepez, Bp., 370, 412, 441, 472. 

Yonge, Mr., 232. 

York, 115, 118, 164, 166, 168, 169, 

188, 199, 212, 213, 217, 251, 
257, 259, 260, 262, 274, 276, 

313, 323, 343, 356, 508, 509, 
511, 512, 516, 529, 543, 547, 
548 ; York Castle, 152, 164, 

189, 194, 214, 215, 254, 255, 
257, 260, 263, 275, 276, 278, 

314, 5", 547- 
Aldermen, 508, 509. 
Archbp. of, see Harsnet. 
Archbp. of, see Matthew. 
Bar Convent, 198, 199. 
Bishop's Palace, 212. 

•' Christ's Parish," 190. 

Common Hall, 194, 252, 253, 257. 

Davygate, 188. 

Great Manger Gate, 189. 

Guildhall, 194, 195. 

London Hall, 257. 

Lord Mayor of, 508, 509, 520. 

Low House jail, 314. 

Mitklegate Bar, 192. 

Minister of, 254 ; wife of, 254. 

Ousebridge, 192, 194. 

Recorder of, see Birnand. 

Recorders of, 508, 509. 

St. Peter's prison, 218. 

Tolbooth, 197, 254. 

Tyburn, 192, 278. 
Young, James, priest, 436, 538. 
— Richard, Justice, 151, 155, 227, 
244, 410, 443, 483, 539, 540. 
Yoward, Mr. and Mrs., 197. 
Yswyd, 128. 


§ I. Martyrs: Early Life. 

Families and relatives, lo, 76, 161, 
166, 171, 183, 194, 202, 211, 
230, 235, 251, 259, 263, 265, 
330, 351, 372, 416, 426, 470 ; 
father a protestant, 71, 384, 
387; apostatises, 331,352; re- 
conciled, 33, 353 ; a martyr, 399, 
498, 506 ; mother, at court, 
has leave for mass, 400, 529 ; 
brother, a martyr, 76 ; a suf- 
ferer, 428; converted, 301,302; 
an apostate priest, 168 ; sons 
and daughter priests and nun, 
199, cf. 259, 416; wife im- 
prisoned, 139, 168 ; at execu- 
tion, 68, 138, 141. 

Childhood and early education, 76, 
161,301,366,532,543; school 
life, 145, 184, 204, 274, 291, 
317, 331, 460; school friends, 

Home life, 114, 146, 188; married, 
55, 115, 128, 167, 189, 259, 
417, 498, 538 ; family and 
children, 55, 128, 259. 

§ 2. University Careers. 

College life, 71, 72, 107, 127, 174, 
265, 301, 367 ; chorister, 52 ; 
dogs kept, 9 ; oath of supre- 
macy refused, 53, 92, 490; 
taken, 544 ; expelled for re- 
ligion, I, 9, 53 ; degrees taken, 
72, 145, 200, 265, 384, 469, 
509, 515, 522, 543, 544; de- 
gree impossible to Catholics, 

53, 331, 453, 473, 490 ; sus- 
pended for religion, 92, 522, 
523 ; loss of fellowship, 92 ; 
rejection from college caused 
many priests, 546 ; priest at 
Oxford, 524 ; vision of 
martyr's crown, 279 ; see 
Cambridge, and Oxford, Col- 
leges of. 

§ 3. Professions, etc. 

Tutor or schoolmaster, i, 54, 77, 
92, 317, 321, 332, 388, 470, 
473 ; printer, 22 ; estate agent, 
58; glover, 550 ; chaplain, 236, 
515 ; page, 400 ; cobbler, porter, 
cook, then priest and martyr, 
323 ; servant to Lord Dacre, 
453 ; law student, 211, 384 ; 
anglican orders, 223 ; anglican 
minister, 107, 108, 538 ; parson 
ot Lutterworth, 301 ; ofWin- 
terbourne, St. Martin, 230. 

§ 4. College Life Abroad {See 
Douay, Rheims, Rome, etc.) 

Maintained by himself, 211, 491 ; 
by others, 293, 474 ; by Mary 
Stuart, 317; cases of con- 
science, 211, 292 ; seminary 
course curtailed, 498, 546 ; ora- 
tion, 204 ; " Te Deum " at 
news of martyrdom, 467 ; 
oath at Rome, 37, 224, 409, 
461, 491 ; petition of 50 
scholars, 462, 492. 

" Marian," or " old " priests, xii, 
107, 321, 537-40. 




Money matters : poor, 127, 186, 
275, 461 ; well-to-do, 265, 288, 
375,474; working man, 550; 
money borrowed, 375. 

Appearance, 48, 74, 181, 210, 215, 
268, 281, 374, 392, 393, 496, 
526, 547 ; defective eyesight, 
268 ; wry neck, 281 ; health, 
86, loS, 275, 385, 474, 546. 

§ 5. Conversion. 

Conformity, 58, 128, 167, 176, 490 ; 
reconciled, 115, 129, 265, 423, 
538; conversion, 108,189, 203, 
280, 288, 301, 302, 342, 385, 
388, 453, 460, 490, 523, 533, 
545 ; explained his errors from 
the pulpit, 303 ; hopeless affec- 
tion makes him turn to God, 

Attainments : preaching, 175, 
203, 211; controversy, 204; 
Hebrew, 204 ; poet, 128 ; 
casuistry, etc., 152, 215, 506, 
547 ; styled " of no account," 
501 ; of little education, 550. 

§ 6. Priestly Life. 

Missionary life, 212, 218, 293 ; for 
one month only, 499 ; con- 
versions, 54, 60, 176, 186, 275, 
294, 355, 528 ; in law court, 
285 ; exorcisms, 226, 245, 328 ; 
apostolate of press, 22, 81, 
150, 156, 524; catechism, 81, 
115, 192. 

Mass, 15, 19, 64, 68, 109, 115, 179, 
193, 201, 222, 226, 266, 282, 
286,292, 353, 495,525; acci- 
dent, 280, 28 1 ; furniture, 2,11, 
25, 26, 82, 194 ; tin chalice, 
65 ; rituale, 466 ; breviary, 46 ; 
confessions, 115, 125 ; com- 
munion and baptism, 42, 44, 
115, 193, 294,324; office, 109, 
180; in bed, 122, 181; holy 
bread, 293 ; holy water, 293 ; 
rosary, crucifix, medals, 234; 
sign of cross, 136; spiritual 

exercises, 225 ; string for 
rosary, 141. 

§ 7. Prayers and Good Works. 

Prayers, 20, 48, 141, 181, 193, 197, 
266, 277, 458, 495, 520 ; de- 
votion to B. Sacrament and 
to martyrs, 192 ; to St. Peter^ 
46; consolations, 280, 282, 306, 
495 ; lights and miraculous 
graces, 297, 307, 332, 333', 
visions, 17, 263, 271, 282, 343 ; 
presence of God, 193, 266. 

Good works : visiting prisoners, 
38, 39, 180, 192, 235, 432; 
visiting poor, 109 ; guide for 
priests, 115 ; entertaining 
priests, 167, 192, 426, 427, 
428, 470 ; hiding holes, 260 ; 
living at inns, 241, 293, 

Penances : in river, 120, 129, 191 ; 
pilgrimage, 276; fastings, 345; 
public recantation, 431 [see 

Vows, 276, 334, 401, 517; voca- 
tions to priesthood, 54, 524 ; 
alms, 195 ; faculties and in- 
dulgfence^--, 73, 109-11, 492 ; 
dispensations, 225. 

§ 8. Characteristic Virtues {besides 
Courage and Constancy). 

Abstinence and austerities, 72, 88, 
108, 180, 193, 194, 268, 275, 
276, 277, 345, 348, 445 ; hair 
shirt, 180, 348, 445 ; dislike 
of fine clothes, 70 ; despised 
earthly things, 100, 262. 

Breadth of mind, 90, 177, 238,369, 
501, 524, 526, 550. 

Charity, 86, 191, 380, 550, 552 ; 
kindness to others, 87, 238, 
249, 260, 268, 369, 547. 

Calmness, gentleness, meekness, 
etc., 53. 58-61, 72, 90, 100, 
191, 204, 214, 262, 266, 269, 
315. 367. 371. 495. 526, 547 ; 
prudence, 60, 97, 212, 374, 
547 ; imprudence, 248. 




Firmness, perseverance, etc , 32, 
116, 117, 125, 162, igi, 269, 
478, 488, 552 ; weak, 288, 295, 

Candour, simplicity, etc., 238, 260, 
498, 501, 535. 

Cheerfulness, joy, etc., 41, 43, 98, 
102, 112, 139, 191, 196, 214, 

262, 263, 371, 445, 458. 
Zeal, 40-60, 86, 181, 210,212,219, 

249, 265, 275, 304, 341, 343, 
369, 417, 426, 547, 549, 550. 

Energy and earnestness, 215, 268, 
324, 488. 

Tact, 181 ; discretion, 269 ; sym- 
pathy, etc., 524; tenderness, 

Obedience, 60, 315. 

Patience, 30, 61, 117, 186, 190, 

263, 324- 

Humility, 40, 70, 88, 191, 276, 290, 

324, 371, 495- 
Self-forgetfulness, 178, 210, 249, 

367, 550. 
Chastity, 72, 407 ; modesty, 60, 

204, 266, 341, 407, 495, 526. 
Laboriousness, 86, 152, 215, 224, 

249, 285, 286, 323, 324. 
Desire of martyrdom, 47, 120, 

445 ; desire of suffering, 98, 

Piety, 60, 210, 260, 266 ; good 

life, 59, 191, 204, 341, 495, 

526, 549. 
Gravity, 83, 260, 501, 526, 546 ; 

faithfulness, 105, 224. 

§ 9. yourneyings. 

Journeyings, 178, 179, 276, 293, 
464, 493 ; journey money, 
475, 491, 530 ; passport, 319 ; 
return to England, 267, 284, 
506, 516, 517, 518, 528 ; 
abroad, 231, 473 ; to Rome, 
72, 276, 530 ; audience with 
the Pope, 38, 73, 225, 491; 
shipwreck, 81 ; storm, 205 ; 
hardships, 276, 319, 462; 
vessels watched, 360; ship 
robbed, 319. 

[ § 10. Searches and Arrests. 

I Searches and escapes : house 
searched, 25, 186, 194, 260, 

I 298, 388, 389, 410 ; ship 

j searched, 8r. 

Priest disguised, 61, 293, 515 ; in 

I hiding, 14, 56, 57, 339 ; sus- 

I pected to be a spy, 541 ; 

I flight, 129 ; escapes, 180, 389. 

{ Betrayed by those of his house- 
hold, 150, 168, 194, 276- 
295, 385, 551 ; by priest, 129 ; 
by fallen Catholics, 149, 226, 
252, 339, 344; by persons 

j benefited, 228, 550; by acci- 

I dent, 213, 252, 281, 312, 322, 

! 361. 

: Arrests, 36, 61, 73, 95, 96, 115, 
! 129; on board ship, 361, 363, 

i 475, 493, 499 ; at seaside, 235, 

■ 401. 

' Carried to prison, 18, 84 ; dragged, 
340 ; on horseback, 268 ; es- 
I cort, 41, 84. 

§ II. Prisons. 

Prisons described, 61, 121, 263, 
271, 314, 341, 342; "Little 
Ease," 282, 402 ; " Low 
House," 314; "Derby jail 
that always stank," 342; 
" Limbo," 403 ; Kingston- 
upon-Hull, " the worst for 
extremity," 510 ; dungeon, 
iig ; garret prison, 88 ; " The 
Pit," 74 ; a cave, 68. 

Bonds, iron shackles, 10, 15, 61, 
68, 74, 83, 84, 99, 131, 134, 
213, 313, 324, 403, 435, 526; 
kissed, 88 ; leg amputated 
because of irons, 512; double 
irons, 132 ; hobbles, 84 ; bolts 
on leg, 130 ; chains in church, 
131 ; pinioned, no, 121, 268, 
340 ; hand and foot, 207 ; 
legs, no, 121. 

Protestant Church, dragged to, by 
heels, 119; by force, 131, 
403; going to, 24, 25, 119, 
313, 314, 345, 431 ; refusing 



to go, log, 436; Protestant 
preacher refused, 117, 118, 
477, 485 ; silenced, 131 ; have 
to hear Protestant Bible, 118. 

Discussions, 12, 40, 42, 65, 83, 
133, 213, 305, 306, 314, 412. 

Conversions in prison, 17, 30, 
62-4, 86, 125, 268, 272, 525, 
526 ; exhorting fellow-prison- 
ers, 62, 66, 125, 222, 314 ; 
convicts attention to, 63 ; 
keeper converted, 17 ; tutor 
to warden's sons, 313. 

Visitors in prison, 62, 125 ; visits 
forbidden, 42 ; visitors 
searched, 433 ; rooms 

searched, 10 ; goods seized, 
24, 40, 41, 98, 255 ; liberty to 
be purchased, 16, 25, 346 ; 
bribes, 117. 

Alms, 62, 63, 195 ; " Dividents," 
426, 427 ; prison charges, 44, 
63,363, 477,510. 

Torture and violence : torture, 27, 
121, 134, 147, 148, 151, 153, 
402 ; manacles, 136 ; rod, 
194 ; (? woman flogged, 
hung by wrists, 435) ; no 
sleep, 121 ; " nothing drawn 
from him but the name 
of Jesus," 27 ; prayer for 
torturers, 134 ; threat of tor- 
ture, 116; fear of, 97; 
yielding to torture, 148, 288, 
289, 290, 295, 296, 355, 496, 

5i«, 527. 
Whether lawful to escape, 16 ; 

account of escape, 293, 296, 

433, 434, 435 ; repentance of 

spy, 222, 226, 228. 
Cost of moving prisoners, 84, 227, 

230, 267, 275, 282, 336, 357 ; 

exiled, 410, 506, 511, 516-9, 


§. 12. Examinations, 

Examinations, 44, 88, 93, 96, no, 
III, 135, 151, 178, 181, 396, 
457, 481, 493, 494, 533 ; with- 
out food or sleep, 121. 


Replies of prisoners, 67, loi, r22, 
123, 156, 158, 159, 180, 205, 
206, 214, 413, 455, 516. 

Denial of treason, 277, 285 ; con- 
fessing the faith, 12, 43, 475 ; 
weakness in faith, 112, 290, 
295, 298, 344, 394, 485 ; con- 
fessing queen, etc., heretical, 

45, 49, 455- 
Acknowledge priesthood, 83, 109, 

205, 277, 285, 318, 319, 344, 

364, 391, 392, 396, 449, 455, 

457, 466, 475, 502. 
Oath of supremacy, 55, 391, 392, 

485, 488 ; text of oath, 486. 

§ 13. Trials. 

Trials, 11, 13, 135, 154, 160, 196, 
297, 345, 369, 390, 391, 482, 
488, 534, 551. 

Charges against martyrs, indict- 
ments, 100, 153, 154 ; con- 
spiracy, 29, 30, 43, 62, 66, 73, 
100 ; exorcism, 226, 246 ; 
helping priest, 427 ; treason, 
255, 257 ; trifling charges, 
66, 136, 137, 383, 423, 437, 


Pleadings, 206 ; refusing to plead, 
136, 195 ; refusing jury, 513, 
516 ; refusing judge, 444. 

Witnesses: false witness paid, 137; 
of low character, 551. 

Persecuting statutes, xi-xvi, 356, 
484 ; defended, 483, 484. 

Judgment without jury, 369, 513 ; 
honest jury altered, 261 ; jury 
intimidated, 138 ; doomed be- 
fore trial, 369, 534 ; jury's 
acquittal refused, 255, 257 ; 
Protestant Bishop a judge, 


Sentence, joy at, 102, 261, 278, 
285, 324, 548 ; " Te Deum " 
recited, ro2 ; pardon off"ered, 

Consoled by priests, 31, 45, 99, 
100, 103, 261, 364 ; by Cath- 
olics, 66 ; martyr depressed, 
99, 306. 



Reprieve on conformity, 47, 406, 
486-8 ; re-trial, 255 ; bail, 

§ 14. Contestation. 

Papal supremacy confessed, 5, 6, 
12, ig, 43, 46, 68, no, 111-7, 
123, 124, 136, 137, 163, 255, 

257. 483, 484- 
Queen's supremacy denied, 5, 7, 

12, 19, 20,, 42, 45, 68, log, 

III, 112, 123, 142, 163, 314, 

414, 445, 488, 535. 
Queen's temporal power, 5, 7, 

19, 20, 98, 123, 206, 208, 445, 


Bull of Pius V and Elizabeth's 
excommunication, 6, 7, 19, 
65, 109, 122, 124, 134, 137. 

" Bloody Question," 44, 65, 66, 
67, 89, 97, in, 121, 194, 206, 
208, 405, 428, 457, 517, 531 ; 
defended, 417-9; it§ hy- 
pocrisy, xvii. 

Ill-treatment : abused, 44, 89, 98, 
99, no, 205, 261, 324, 435 ; 
blows, 98 ; pinioned, 196, 
305 ; pelted from a dunghill, 
285 ; jadge taunts and tempts, 
213, 214, 485, 551 ; friends, 

20, 102, 103, 529. 

§ 15. Execution. 

Preparatory prayer, 112, 125, 197, 
326, 520 ; Mass, 286 ; letter 
before, 89, 105, 106. 

Prayers on way, 20 ; singing 
service, 413 ; litanies, 458 ; 
Stabat Mater, 458 ; jfesus 
Psalter, 20; Te liicis ante 
terminum, 48 ; rosary, 141. 

Constancy, 198, 552 ; satisfaction 
and great joy, 90, 102, 103, 
125 139, 261, 324, 328, 445, 
471, 498, 504, 505. 

Via dolorosa : pinioned, 69, 104, 
141 ; hurdle, 4, 15, 18, 68, 
104, 112, 125, 141,269; sledge, 
278, 280, 286, 346, 487; 
dragged, 190 ; called " Sweet 

Bed," 19; cart, 365, 413, 
519, 529; horseback, 406; 
led, 458 ; sixty miles on foot 
to execution, 505. 

Halter, 19 ; broken, 269 ; kissed 
19,471, 541; cut, 50; called 
" Blessed Chain," 19. 

Gallows, blessing, 4 ; kissed, 4 ; 
especially erected, 368. 

Ladder kissed, 346, 471 ; re- 
mounted, 329. 

Last speech : refused, 308, 370, 
383, 487 ; howled down by 
crowd, 467; impressive, 346; 
short, 75, 125 ; lament on 
country's apostasy, 347. 

Protestant ministers refused, 112, 
125, 142, 487 ; Protestant 
ministers disputed, 18, 69, 74. 
513, 516. 

Queen's forgiveness asked, 20, 74 ; 
refusal to ask, 7, 48, 142, 436. 

Blessing himsalf, 141, 514, 519; 
others, 69, 141, 146, 413, 487. 

Executions, accounts of 4, 90, 102, 
104, 308, 315, 535 ; fire not 
ready, 346 ; place of execu- 
tion described, 370. 

Crowd : angry, 221 ; sympathetic, 
407 ; papers thrown to, 346 ; 
friends, 20, 68, 102, 138, 141, 
423, 529 ; martyr encour- 
aged, 104, 139, 423, 520, 
529; passing bell, 551. 

" Declaration " read, 209. 

Martyr gives alms, 140 ; stripped, 
69, 315, 348; mocked, etc., 
102, 104, 278 ; asserts inno- 
cence, 69, 142 ; forced to 
wait and why, 467, 497, 


Executioner : begs forgiveness, 
142, 471 ; refuses at first, 
220 ; compelled, 269 ; bungles, 

Last prayers, 48, 69, 413, 458, 
487 ; for queen, 20, 48, 142, 
197 ; for England, 347 ; for 
Pope, 197 ; secret, 125, 487, 
495 ; Latin, 4, 7, 49, 50, 487, 



Asks Catholic prayers, 74, 161, 

424, 472; prayers from all, 
142 ; Protestant prayers re- 
fused, 7, 20, 74, 159, 161. 

Last words, 5, 7, 20, 69, 75, 102, 
141, 142, 198, 221, 270, 308, 
329, 348, 467, 487, 496, 505, 
520 ; last absolution, 112, 168, 
487 ; prevented, 278 ; beating 
breast, 519. 

Martyr quartered alive, 90, 143, 
347 ; disembowelled alive, 31, 
50, 70, 75, 90, 181, 269, 315, 
445 ; mouth cut, 308. 

Blood from mouth, nose and ears, 
518, 519; full penalties of 
treason, 7, 20, 458, 467, 472, 
538, 548 ; martyrdom especi- 
ally brutal, 75, 198, 222, 308, 
3i5» 365, 518, 552 ; martyr 
defends himself, 221, 270 ; 
hanged in boots and spurs, 
169 ; quarter of an hour in 
flying. 520, 529 ; cries, 75 ; 
speaks, 347; gagged, 358; 
face covered, ig8 ; savagely 
hit, 358 ; peine forte et dure, 

Hanged only, 207, 220, 221, 261, 
286, 365, 371, 396, 397, 406; 
by Queen's clemency, 513, 
518, 530, 535. 

Martyred at : Andover, 8 ; Brent- 
ford, near, 399 ; Canterbury, 
447, 451, 460, 469 ; Chichester, 
473, 490 ; Derby, 330 ; Dor- 
chester, 265 ; Gloucester, 220, 
279, 550; Ipswich, 498; Isle 
of Wight, 202 ; Kingston-on- 
Thames, 439 ; Lancaster, 
107, 114. 

London : at Clerkenwell, 387, 531 ; 
Holloway, the " Theatre," 
522 ; Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
372, 3S4 ; Mile End Green, 
351, 360, 508, 521; Shore- 
ditch, 366; Tyburn, 22, 34, 
52, 71, 76, 92, 145, 171, 183, 
200, 223, 234, 408, 416, 422, 

425, 430, 537 ; Salisbury, 287 ; 
Stafford, 301 ; Winchester, 

I ; Wrexham, 127 ; York, 
164, 166, 188, 211, 217, 251, 
259, 274, 313, 323, 543. 

§ 16. After Martyrdom. 

Relics, 50, 70, 144, 198, 199, 215, 
262, 271, 307-11, 349, 397. 
466, 489, 506, 538. 

Preserved by Catholics, 50, 199, 
215, 311, 349; incorrupt, 
198 ; relic - seeker appre- 
hended, 215 ; portrait of 
martyr, 215 ; tokens and bent 
penny blessed as mementoes, 
139, 140. 

Consequences of martyrdom : con- 
versions, 112, 272, 347, 349 ; 
elements disturbed, 271 ; 
misfortunes of persecutors, 
143, 213, 270, 271 ; people 
impressed, 476, 495, 503. 

§ 17. Martyrs^ Maxims. 

Martyrs' Maxims : — 

" We are all beggars of God or 

ought to be," 345. 
" All is too little for Christ's 

sake,'' 286. 
" Oh ! I shall never come to 

martyrdom," 445. 
" fairest day, I ever saw," 

" Why do I tarry so long behind 

my brother," 112. 
" Is it any more than one death," 

" In the Name of Jesus," 141. 
" Death ... is my comfort, but 

the flesh is frail," 197. 
"I die for love of my Lord 

Jesu," 198. 
" Happy I might be if I might 

encounter death for Him,'" 

When told to be hanged only 

he said " The less was his 

merit," 520. 
" Jesu ! how happy were I if I 



Martyrs' Maxims (contd.) — 

might die for this cause," 

" I would consent (to escape) if 
I did not hope to suffer 
martyrdom," 456-7. 

Death sentence " a sweet judg- 
ment," 214. 

" The whole country here (Eng- 
land) is Catholic," 336. 

" If God send a Catholic time, 
heretics' tongues would be 
stabled," 253. 

" The sap is with Catholics in 
the root of the tree," etc, 
253. 254. 

*• Shall I always lie here like 
a beast, while my brother 
hastens to his reward," 548. 

" Within an hour I shall conquer 
world, flesh, and devil," 286. 

" I have done nothing but as a 
Roman Catholic priest ought 
to do," 519, 520. 

"I do but pay rent before rent 
day," 140. 

" I will gladly suffer for the 
Catholic faith," 44. 

" If he could not dispute for his 
faith, he could die for it," 501. 

" If a hundred hves would will- 
ingly lay all down in defence 
of faith," 467, 

Prayed that the " Catholic ! 
Romish " church might pre- j 
vail, 457. I 

" Pray God that my bloud may , 
increase Catholick faith in 
England," 50. 

'* I will do what I can to set for- 
ward God's Catholic service," 

*' I am now to shoot as I never 

shot in my life," 346. 
" Nothing but the smell of a 

pilchard," 272. 
" I thank God heartily . . . 

I am not worthy so good a 

death," 196. 
" I am not worthy to suffer so 

much as my brethren," 371. 

" She would lay down many 
lives rather than do anything 
against God," 436. 

" Truly I am unworthy of such 
glory as to suffer for Christ," 

" Persecuted, she learnt pa- 
tience," igi. 

Separated from family . . . 
familiar with God, 191. 

Shut up she learnt to despise 
the world, 191. 

" We are so merry that unless 
we all parted, we fear we shall 
lose merit of imprisonment," 

Prison " accounted a most happy 
and profitable school where 
. . . honey is sucked out of 
enemies' poison," 190, 191. 

" Going to heaven before them, 
would carry tidings that they 
were coming," 450, 471. 

" Would never be guilty of ob- 
taining temporal honour at 
price of his salvation," 53. 

" Rather die for God than live 
in world," 406. 

" Made more account of priest- 
hood than of all other titles," 

" He would do as God put it 
into his mind," 256, 257. 

" Elements shed tears for our 
sins," 141. 

" I have been a jesting fellow 
etc.," 143. 

" Never read that God ordained 
woman as Head of Church," 

" Peter received Keys of the 
Kingdom of Heaven, but you 
those of the beer-cellar," 


" For this one night I watch in 
prayer with Christ," 325. 

" God comfort all, for I am com- 
forted," 306. 

" I have this night received 
greater consolation than I de- 
serve," 307. 



Martyrs' Maxims (contd.) — 

" Deus propitius esto mihi pec- 
catori," 143. 

" Non timebo quid mihi faciat 
homo," 485. 

" Credo videre bona Domini 
in terra Viventiiim,'' 214. 

*' Overproud of my new boots," 
meaning fetters, 213. 

*' Cunning, thank God ! in wear- 
ing shackles ... for iron on 

earth surmounts gold in 
heaven," 15. 

Prison, " Our School of Pa- 
tience," 16. 

Halter, " the happiest collar that 
ever went about his neck," 

" My legs shall perform journey 
without boots ; and shall be 
well paid for their pains," 



Lives of the English .357- 

martyrs Vol.l